Risk modelling firm EQECAT is the first to offer an estimate of insured property losses for the recent tornado events, including the devastating Moore, Oklahoma tornado. In its latest CatWatchTM report EQECAT has put an insured loss estimate on the tornado events of the 18th to 20th May, including Moore, of between $2 billion and $5 billion.
This estimate is firmly inline with other suggestions from analysts (who said insured losses would be above $2 billion) and reinsurers (who said below $5 billion), as well as with the expectation that the Moore tornado alone could become the largest single tornado loss event, with a higher insured loss than 2011’s Joplin tornado.
EQECAT is reporting on the entire weather event of the 18th to 20th May, including the National Weather Service reported 16 tornado touchdowns on Saturday 18th May, 29 touchdowns on the 19th May and 31 on 20th May. This includes the two tornadoes which hit areas to the south of Oklahoma City, an EF4 touchdown on 19th May and the Moore EF5 touchdown on the 20th May.
According to EQECAT, the NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center filtered reports for 18th May identify 16 tornado touchdowns, 76 incidents of straight winds and 92 hail storms. Similar figures for 19th May were 29 tornadoes, 255 wind events and 142 hail storms, and on the 20th May there were 31 tornadoes, 218 wind storm and 105 hail storms reported.
The way EQECAT is reporting on the entire weather system over the days it impacted the U.S. will likely be aligned with the way Property Claims Services (PCS) will report an industry loss estimate when it has gathered the data.
The tornadoes over this period, of 18th to 20th May, have damaged thousands of buildings, with many completely destroyed, said EQECAT. The Moore, Oklahoma tornado alone has caused damage to around 13,000 structures, and this is where EQECAT expects the bulk of the losses.
The CatWatchTM report from EQECAT contains more insight and analysis into the tornado events.
The $2 billion to $5 billion insured loss price tag seems a reasonable range for an early estimate. The size of the insured loss from the Moore tornado will likely drive the total loss figure, if it is indeed higher than Joplin then we’d expect the total insured loss from this 18th to 20th May period to be over $3 billion.
Read our other coverage on the Moore tornado event: