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HUGO CLAIMANTS TO GET FINAL SETTLEMENTS

Nov. 25, 2003 — A dozen Hurricane Hugo claimants will receive checks this week totaling more than half-a-million dollars, Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards said Tuesday.
Hugo, one of the most devastating storms in modern times, leveled the islands on Sept. 17, 1989, and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage. It became even more severe by the time it reached the U.S. mainland, and ranks today as the second costliest Hurricane in the country's history after Andrew in 1992.
Acting as the territory's Insurance Commissioner, Richards "is committed to finalizing the liquidation of American Property and Casualty Insurance Company," which became insolvent after Hugo, according to statement from Richards' office.
Richards will use money the territory got from a settlement reached by the government on behalf of the insurer's policyholders.
The checks will be issued this week, Richards said. They represent final payments to 11 claimants and one creditor of the failed firm. Payments range from $3,000 to $200,000 per claimant and total about $500,000.
"In keeping with my commitment to improve the quality of service to consumers, I am indeed pleased to release this much-anticipated debt to claimants," Richards said.

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