Data and analytics company CoreLogic has provided an insurance market loss estimate for the flooding caused by hurricane Ida’s remnants in the northeastern states of the US, saying it will range from $5 billion to as much as $8 billion.
That’s on top of CoreLogic’s estimated $6 billion to $9 billion of insured flood losses from hurricane Ida’s impacts in the Gulf Coast and surrounding states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Meaning, that in total hurricane Ida and its tropical remnants that travelled to the north east and Mid Atlantic states, are estimated to have caused somewhere between $11 billion and $17 billion of insurance market flood related losses.
While flood insurance losses would be expected to hit FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program in large volumes from this, CoreLogic does not provide any estimate for the split between private insurance or reinsurance covered flood and NFIP losses, unfortunately.
But it is clear that the NFIP reinsurance program may be at-risk of attaching, although it will be some time before any clarity on that emerges.
CoreLogic said that the north eastern states were hit by one of the worst flooding events the region has ever experienced.
Commercial property lines of business are expected to take the largest share of insured flood losses, at $3 billion to $5 billion, while residential is estimated at $2 billion to $3 billion.
Total flood damages, insured and uninsured, are estimated to range between $16 billion to $24 billion for the north east after Ida’s passage.
The losses are concentrated across a few states, with Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts expected to account for approximately 90% of the losses.
“Given the prevalence of multifamily housing and below-ground structures in these areas, we’ll see more extreme interior content damages than we typically see in southern coastal areas,” explained Shelly Yerkes, senior leader, insurance solutions at CoreLogic. “For example, many of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in New York City buildings are in the basements, so contents damage should be substantial.”
“The flooding from Superstorm Sandy was more severe than Tropical Storm Ida,” added David Smith, senior leader of science and analytics at CoreLogic. “Due to the repairs made in 2012, such as strengthening buildings and infrastructure and addressing deferred maintenance, New York was less vulnerable. Tropical Storm Ida’s effects on New Yorkers would have been worse if we hadn’t conducted these resilience-based repairs after Superstorm Sandy.”
Given the NFIP is expected to take somewhere between $2.3 billion and $4 billion of losses just across the four impacted Gulf Coast states (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi), according to RMS’ estimate, it seems likely another few billion dollars will be added from the remnants flooding related to Ida.
That now looks set to take the NFIP’s claims very close to where its reinsurance program provides protection, attaching at $4 billion of losses to the Program, if these estimates prove accurate.
The last update from FEMA was that over 13,500 National Flood Insurance Program claims had been received following hurricane Ida as of September 5th, a figure that will have risen considerably since we’d imagine.
At this stage it’s still not possible to say whether the reinsurance program will support some of the NFIP’s claims payments after Ida, bit it does look increasingly likely.
As a reminder, FEMA’s FloodSmart Re catastrophe bonds, which provide some of the NFIP’s reinsurance protection, have been under secondary market pricing pressure, but as they attach higher up most in the cat bond industry believe they will be safe from loss at this time.