"It's a much more stabilized marketplace than it was in [the] early 2000s,'' Cline said.
West Virginia had been one of six states that permitted third-party bad-faith lawsuits that allege insurers had not addressed a claim reasonably. In 2005, then-Gov. Joe Manchin led an effort to curtail those lawsuits, moving the complaints under the review of the insurance commissioner's office.
The result replaced windfall jury awards to individuals with more reasonable amounts, Cline said. It also helped regulators to quickly identify and correct any bad insurance market practices.
"All the reforms and changes that have occurred in the marketplace and the regulatory structure have worked,'' she said. "And as a result of that, in these disasters, you're not seeing the increased rates and cancellations of policies.''
Across the state, the derecho and subsequent storms left three people dead and more than 680,000 customers without electricity. Sandy was blamed for seven deaths, dumped up to 19 inches of snow, closed dozens of roads, toppled roofs and left about 268,000 customers in the dark.
Cline said property owners should review their policies before disasters occur so they know what's covered and maintain an inventory of appliances and high-value items in their homes."We used to say get smart about insurance -- understand what your coverage needs are,'' she said. "Don't wait until the time you need to file a claim to figure out what you have in place.''