Hurricane Michael claims paid near $5.53bn: Florida regulator

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The Florida state insurance regulator has now counted almost $5.53 billion of insurance claims that have been paid following the impact of hurricane Michael in the state, another 10% increase since mid-January.

Hurricane Michael IR satellite image from RAMMB-CIRAStill only 75% of insurance claims filed in the wake of hurricane Michael have been settled so far, with 25% or almost 36,000 claims remaining open at this time.

This suggests a rising insurance and reinsurance market loss still to come and the industry loss estimates reflect this, with many in the marketplace expecting the final bill for the industry will be around the $10 billion mark.

So far the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR) has reported hurricane Michael claims data based on reports from insurers that operate in the state of Florida, reporting regularly on the analysed claims information.

In our last report on the claims paid count from hurricane Michael, as of January 11th 2019, the total insured loss estimate from the Florida insurance regulator had risen by around 25% to reach just over $5.02 billion.

Now, as of February 1st 2019 the total estimate of insured losses from the regulator stands at just under $5.53 billion, an increase of another 10% in less than one month.

The filing of claims slowed dramatically during the month though, rising from around 141,000 to 143,600, a 2% increase and a slowdown from the 6% increase in the prior month or so.

FLOIR industry estimates tend to fall quite significantly beneath the main insurance and reinsurance market loss estimates, but with hurricane Michael now passed $5.5 billion and still 25% of claims to be settled, it suggests that as the FLOIR’s figure rises further there could be room for some loss creep to emerge.

Commercial property claims from hurricane Michael continue to move very slowly, with only 30% closed still. Commercial residential are also slow-moving, at only 42% closed so far. Business interruption is another slow mover at less than 40% of claims closed. Meanwhile, residential property claims are moving at the average rate with 75% closed to-date.

As we have explained previously, the market fears a developing Irma-like loss creep resulting in future updates to estimates for hurricane Michael and an expectation that the eventual industry-wide total will rise.

There is a way to go before insurance, reinsurance and ILS market interests will know the final bill from hurricane Michael and there is a chance that some of the industry estimate providers may have to further increase their figures.

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