General Insurance Article - Hurricane Dorian insured losses estimated up to USD1.5bn


RMS estimated insured losses from Hurricane Dorian to the U.S. will be between $500 million and $1.5 billion. This estimate represents insured losses associated with wind and storm surge damage across the U.S., including losses to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

 This loss estimate for the U.S. reflects property damage and business interruption to residential, commercial, industrial, and automobile lines of business. Insured losses due to post-event loss amplification and precipitation-induced inland flooding are not expected to contribute significantly to overall U.S. insured losses.

 Jeff Waters, Senior Product Manager, RMS North Atlantic Hurricane Models said, “While Dorian caused material damage in several states, the overall impact to the U.S. could have been much worse had the storm taken a different track. We were fortunate that the majority of Dorian’s damaging winds and storm surge remained offshore as it tracked along the U.S. coastline, before weakening, and eventually making landfall in North Carolina.”

 Earlier this week, RMS issued industry loss estimates for the Caribbean. This estimate represented all potential aspects of wind, storm surge, post-event loss amplification and non-modeled factors that will drive insured losses in the region. RMS estimates that total insured losses from Hurricane Dorian will fall between $4 and $8.5 billion. Included in this range are insured losses to the Caribbean and U.S., as well as insured losses associated with wind damage in Canada, which RMS estimates to be less than $500 million.The highest proportion of total insured loss from the storm will stem from the Bahamas.

 Insured losses will constitute a fraction of the total economic losses, particularly in the Caribbean, as it has a lower rate of insurance take-up than the U.S.

 As the fourth named storm of the 2019 North Atlantic hurricane season, Hurricane Dorian was the first major hurricane of the season. Dorian made U.S. landfall on Friday, September 6, over Cape Hatteras, North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane and impacted Nova Scotia, Canada later in the week with hurricane-force winds. Prior to reaching the U.S. mainland, Dorian impacted several Caribbean countries and territories, most notably the Bahamas. RMS HWind tracked the hurricane’s progress as it remained nearly stationary for more than 36 hours, causing catastrophic wind and storm surge-driven damages to Grand Bahamas and Abaco Islands.

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