Hurricane Matthew claims rise 20% to $729m in Florida


The hurricane Matthew reported insurance or reinsurance claims tally has now reached $729 million, according to the latest from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, an increase of 20% since the 28th October.

A significant number of additional claims have been closed since the last update, when the loss was cited as $606 million by the Florida regulator in late October.

Now, an impressive 75.7% of claims filed have been closed as of Friday, December 2nd 2016, with 48,648 closed and paid, while 36,150 have been closed with no payment.

But with another 27,202 filed claims still open there is the potential for the claims bill in Florida from hurricane Matthew to rise significantly before the final insurance and subsequently reinsurance loss can be understood.

In Florida residential homeowner property claims made up the bulk of the total, with 94,462 filed, 43,000 closed and paid out, meaning 80.5% of all residential claims are now closed.

However in commercial property insurance things take more time and while only 6,095 claims have been filed and 651 closed and paid out, there remain a significant number still open as just 32.4% of claims have been closed down to date.

Paying for claims is coming down to reinsurance capital for a relatively significant proportion of losses from hurricane Matthew, including capital market investors through some ILS funds which have reserved for the event, a number of collateralised reinsurance covers and also some reinsurance sidecars which have attritional exposure to the event.

The latest industry loss estimates for hurricane Matthew suggest that the insurance and reinsurance industry could pay up to $5 billion of losses for damage suffered in the U.S., but with Florida claims still remaining well under a billion the final tally could actually be at the lower end of estimates.

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