Claims News Service, Jan. 6, 1:22 p.m. EST –A record total of homeowners' insurance claim payments that resulted from the 2005 hurricanes in Louisiana is enough to wipe out all homeowners' premiums paid in the state during the past 25 years, as well as every dollar of homeowners' insurance profits ever earned there, according to the Insurance Information Institute.Homeowners' insurers in Louisiana are expected to pay $12.4 billion in claims from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, an amount equal to all homeowners' insurance premiums paid in the state since 1981 and nearly 13 times the estimated $969 million in homeowners' premiums paid last year. Homeowners' insurers in Louisiana have earned only $17.3 million in profits, including investment income, since 1985. Insurers will pay an estimated $10.9 billion on 695,000 claims to homeowners in Louisiana from Hurricane Katrina and $1.5 billion on 130,000 homeowners' claims from Hurricane Rita, according to ISO.Overall insured catastrophe losses in 2005 exceeded $55 billion, a new record. The majority of those losses occurred in Louisiana and Mississippi. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, and Dennis resulted in a total of approximately three million claims.Robert Hartwig, chief economist of the I.I.I, pointed out several factors that home insurers will be considering in their reassessment of risk in Louisiana. They include:

? Predictions by meteorologists that hurricanes will continue to be more frequent and more intense for the next 15 to 20 years.

?Uncertainty surrounding where homeowners will be allowed to be rebuild and to what standard. Enforcement of the new statewide building code will be an issue. It also is unclear what degree of protection newly rebuilt levees will afford New Orleans.

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