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Insured Irma losses could reach $55 billion: Risk Management Solutions

Posted On: Sep. 20, 2017 2:34 PM CST

Insured losses from Hurricane Irma will be between $35 billion and $55 billion, risk modeler Risk Management Solutions Inc. said Wednesday.

The figures include insured losses associated with wind, storm surge and inland flood damage across Florida and the southeast United States, including losses to the National Flood Insurance Program, as well as insured losses associated with wind and storm surge in the Caribbean, RMS said in a statement.

By region, total U.S. insured losses, including NFIP, will be $25 billion to $35 billion, while total economic losses will be $35 billion to $50 billion; in the Caribbean, insured losses will be $10 billion to $20 billion and economic losses will be $25 billion to $45 billion.

The most recent figures join an already extensive set of estimates that have been collecting since the storm hit. 

Newark, California-based RMS has included estimated losses to the National Flood Insurance Program of $2.5 billion to $5.5 billion that will add to the $7 billion to $10 billion estimated from Hurricane Harvey that occurred two weeks earlier, the statement said.

The Caribbean was particularly hard-hit, and U.S. damages could have been worse according to RMS.

“Had the hurricane made a direct impact on Tampa, the biggest city on Florida’s west coast, the losses would have been much higher,” Michael Young, RMS head of product management for U.S. climate models, said in the statement, adding that “while the majority of Irma’s losses will come from Florida, it’s important not to overlook the Caribbean where several islands were devastated.”

Uninsured rainfall-driven flood losses in the U.S. and uninsured wind and storm surge losses in the Caribbean could be significant and drive overall economic losses substantially higher, according to the RMS estimate of between $60 billion and $95 billion.

Hurricane Irma was the eighth named storm of the 2017 North Atlantic hurricane season and the first major hurricane of Category 3 or greater to make landfall in Florida since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, RMS said.