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Hurricane Irma insured industry loss $25bn: Karen Clark & Co.


The insurance and reinsurance industry loss from hurricane Irma has been estimated at $25 billion by catastrophe risk modelling firm Karen Clark & Company (KCC), with $18 billion of this from the United States and the remainder from the Caribbean.

Hurricane Irma satellite imageThe estimate does not include losses under the NFIP or crop losses, but do include property losses, insured structures, contents, business interruption, and automobiles.

Karen Clark & Company came up with the estimate using its high-resolution wind, storm surge and inland flooding risk models.

The $25 billion figure is significantly down on the market’s expectations for the industry loss from hurricane Irma, as at one stage it looked like the storm would barrel directly into Miami and cause a $100 billion or greater loss.

The greatest impacts in terms of damage were in the Caribbean, followed by the Florida Keys, with the damage lighter as Irma moved up the coast of the Peninsula. Storm surge impacts were lower than had been feared in the Naples and Tampa areas.

Wind damage was also more minor than expected, as Irma decayed quickly following the second landfall, KCC said.

However the large wind field and size of hurricane Irma meant that impacts have been widely felt, with damage along both sides of the Florida coastline.

Flooding is a major factor agin in this hurricane, with it adding to the complexity. KCC said that in locations such as Jacksonville and Charleston, peak storm surge coincided with a high tide and heavy rain, resulting in significant inland flooding.

Of the $18 billion of insured loss in the U.S., KCC said that the majority is in Florida, followed by Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama.

Economic losses from hurricane Irma have been estimated in a range from $58-83 billion by Moody’s Analytics, while risk modeller AIR Worldwide put the insurance and reinsurance industry impact as up to $40 billion.

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