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Insurance companies pay $55 million for gas outages during New Mexico winter storm

Insurance companies paid out $55 million in claims from the natural gas outage of last winter, reports Trip Jennings of The Santa Fe New Mexican. About $45 million went to homeowners, while more than $10 million went to commercial properties and $200,000 for automobile claims.

Jennings adds:

The memo makes clear that the number of claims and insurance money paid out don’t reflect the full extent of the damage inflicted on New Mexico. For one, it doesn’t account for the dollars that individuals and businesses spent on deductibles to trigger their insurance policies. Nor does it account for city or county infrastructure, such as municipal water systems whose frozen pipes burst as they thawed, or for uninsured property damaged by the deep freeze and natural-gas outage.

Earlier this year, in seeking federal aid, the state estimated $4.6 million in damages to uninsured entities and public infrastructure, state Homeland Security Secretary Michael Duvall said Monday. But that cost might rise. The state added three pueblos to the list of recipients for federal help after the initial request was made, Duvall said.

Last February, natural gas outages left an estimated 32,000 without natural gas for nearly a week during winter storms.

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