Hurricane impacts to the State of Louisiana during the record-breaking 2020 season are estimated to have driven $7.7 billion of insurance and reinsurance market losses.
The State’s Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said that insurers have now either paid or reserved $7.7 billion on claims received through the end of 2020, from hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta.
In total, insurers received 290,847 claims of all types from the three hurricanes as of the end of last year.
161,704 claims, or 56%, were already closed with payment as of December 31st, meaning insurance and reinsurance capital had already paid out $5 billion for damage caused by the three hurricane events, a significant percentage of the total reserved for.
“After a record storm season that tested the state multiple times, paid claims represent a way forward for those most affected by these hurricanes,” Commissioner Donelon explained. “This is $7.7 billion owed to Louisiana policyholders to rebuild their lives, homes and businesses. Furthermore, it’s billions of dollars that didn’t come from taxpayers in a time when municipal budgets are reeling from the events of the last year.”
These figures include personal and commercial insurance claims received and dealt with, but do not include claims or payments from the National Flood Insurance Program, which is not regulated by the Louisiana Department of Insurance.
Hurricane Laura, the most impactful and costly of the 2020 hurricanes, drove 169,891 claims, and 77% of these were closed by the end of 2020, 59% with payment.
Hurricane Laura accounts for the majority of the hurricane reserves set by insurers, with the total paid losses plus reserves on reported claims reaching $6.6 billion for the storm.
71,945 claims were filed from Hurricane Delta, with insurers now having paid or reserved for some $556 million to cover losses from the storm.
With Hurricane Zeta, which was the most recent of the hurricanes having made landfall in Terrebonne Parish on October 28th, 49,011 claims were filed through the end of the year and total paid losses plus reserves reached $499 million for Hurricane Zeta at the end of 2020.
The state’s Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the non-profit state mandated insurer of last resort, saw the hit to its portfolio from recent hurricanes significantly softened by its reinsurance program.