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Dallas Tornadoes Cause up to $500M Insured Loss

April 10 (Reuters) - The tornadoes that ripped through the Dallas-Ft. Worth area last week caused up to $500 million in insured losses, a group representing Texas and Oklahoma insurers said.

Customers have already filed $300 million in claims, with many more filings likely, the Southwestern Insurance Information Service said. It based the figures on reports from its member insurance companies.

The service did not estimate the total economic loss from the event. Economic losses are always higher than insured losses, though how much higher depends on the type of disaster and its location.

About a dozen tornadoes touched down the afternoon of April 3, damaging hundreds of buildings, as well as dozens of planes at the local airport. No one was killed, though 17 people were injured. The service said Monday that the number of automotive claims could end up being three times higher than structural claims.

This year has been an incredibly active one for tornadoes, running about three times the national average over the last three years, according to the National Weather Service. Tornadoes in early March caused from $1 billion to $2 billion in insured losses, disaster modeling companies have said.

Last year shattered all records for tornadoes, with insured losses topping $26 billion.

(Reporting by Ben Berkowitz; Edited by Prudence Crowther)

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