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University of Iowa News Release

May 9, 2006

CORRECTED VERSION: This version of the release corrects the fifth paragraph to clarify that 56 students reported that they were completely covered by insurance, rather than 56 percent.

UI Survey Finds Extensive Tornado Damage To Student Cars, Homes

More than 300 UI students, faculty and staff replied last week to an online survey about personal losses from tornado and storm damage, and the results show that while damage to homes and other structures has received the most public attention, damage to automobiles may also be problematic.

The survey found that of the 306 people who responded, 187 suffered some kind of automobile damage in the April 13 tornado, according to Lisa Troyer, who is coordinating the UI Provost Office's response to the tornado. Since 193 of the respondents were students, she said the university's most financially vulnerable population seems to have endured the most serious damage. For example, of the 187 respondents reporting automobile damage, 155 are students, and only 41 of them reported that the damage was completely covered by insurance.

"Unfortunately, many students carry only liability insurance and so they do not have insurance to make the repairs they need to their main transportation to work and school," said Troyer. "The problem is especially complicated for those students who are now also facing relocation further away from campus."

While the university can help those students who lost household goods, textbooks or notes, she said the university cannot help repair or replace damaged autos.

As for residential damage, Troyer said the survey showed 199 students, faculty and staff suffered some kind of damage to their property. Of this, only 56 students reported that they were completely covered by insurance.

"A further concern arises from the fact that the tornado damaged a historical section of Iowa City, which can increase costs of repairs to bring the home back to historical standards," said Troyer. "Also, this was a very densely populated area of Iowa City. Many of what appear to be single-family houses, are actually divided into several apartments, housing many students."

Troyer said it's unlikely the university will ever have comprehensive statistics as to the number of students displaced by the tornado because, while the university maintains contact information for students, the information does not necessarily correspond to a student's residence. Also, the university does not maintain records on students' lease arrangements or other similar information. That information is kept only for students living in residence halls or other university-owned housing.

The full survey results are listed below. They include responses up to Friday, May 5.

306 Respondents

* Affiliation with University of Iowa:

-- 154 Undergraduates (50 percent)

-- 39 Graduate/Professional Students (13 percent)

-- 77 Staff (25 percent)

-- 35 Faculty (11 percent)

-- 1 Unknown (.3 percent )

* Types of Damage/Loss:

-- 107 Reporting damage/loss related to automobile ONLY

-- 119 Reporting damage/loss related to property other than automobile (e.g., structure, household goods, clothing, personal items) ONLY

-- 80 Reporting damage/loss related to BOTH automobile and other property

*  Insurance Coverage on Damage/Losses Related to Automobile:

-- 63 Completely covered (34 percent)

-- 51 Partially covered (27 percent)

-- 60 Not covered (32 percent)

-- 13 Don't know (7 percent)

* Insurance Coverage on Damage/Losses Related to Personal Property Other than Automobile:

-- 56 Completely covered (28 percent)

-- 53 Partially covered (27 percent)

-- 53 Not covered (27 percent)

-- 37 Don't know (19 percent)

Troyer said the information is being shared with Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management, as well as the Johnson County Emergency Management Agency.  Both offices are communicating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, tom-snee@uiowa.edu.