Tornado Hits New Orleans

An article at reports that a likely tornado has killed a New Orleans woman and left a swath of damage through the city. An estimated 15 people have suffered injuries and almost 20,000 in the area are without power. The powerful storm left dozens of businesses and homes damaged in a region still struggling to recover after Hurricane Katrina.

An 85-year-old woman died in the city's Gentilly neighborhood, one of the areas hit hardest by Katrina just 18 months ago. The woman was living in a trailer that had been provided by FEMA. Those same trailers were tossed around and nearby homes collapsed. Additional wind damage was suffered in Westwego, just south of New Orleans.

One single mother interviewed said that she hadn't been able to afford the premiums on her homeowners' insurance, and so didn't have any coverage for her home. It had been left in ruins.

Only recently, a number of outstanding lawsuits regarding unpaid Katrina-related insurance claims were settled. Now, there will be a whole new round of insurance claims and potential lawsuits, as insurers try to figure out if the policy wording will allow them to avoid paying.

This highlights the need for multiple types of insurance coverage. You can't just have hurricane insurance in the Gulf; you also need insurance for wind and water. (Just ask the folks who have had their Katrina claims denied because the damage was deemed to be from "water surge" and not as a result of the hurricane itself.)

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Monique L. Attinger

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