The lighter-than-expected damage toll from
According to the state tally, 4,973 claims had been filed in 43 counties totaling
The tally, which includes claims counts from 33 private-market companies, is not final, the office said, and does not reflect claims filed throughout Monday.
"As many displaced consumers return to their communities and homes to assess damage and initiate the claims process, these numbers will increase across the state," the office said in a email statement.
The state's estimate of 4,973 claims includes 212 from the tricounty region, which experienced minor damage and winds that did not approach the 74 mph classified as hurricane-force winds.
The bulk of the claims were filed in northern counties that absorbed the brunt of the storm's force as it skirted the coastline during its northward trek.
Through Monday afternoon,
The largest number -- 493 -- came from hard-hit
The 74 claims from
Meanwhile, the insurance industry was breathing a sigh of relief over the weekend as initial damage estimates appeared lower than expected earlier in the week, as Matthew headed toward
Universal Property & Casualty, the state's largest property insurer and second largest in
"Because Matthew stayed offshore as it passed by
Heritage Property & Casualty, the state's fifth-largest insurer with 254,505 policies, said in a news release Monday afternoon that it expected losses from Matthew to be less than
Property data firm
Fitch Ratings, a global credit rating firm, on Friday said the storm would not present a major capital challenge for underwriters based in
Despite the more optimistic projections, insurers continued over the weekend to worry that losses would be exacerbated by shady contractors pressuring policyholders into signing over benefits of their policies before agreeing to begin making repairs.
Citizens and the
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