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Record-breaking hurricanes cap above-average year: AIR Worldwide

Record-breaking hurricanes cap above-average year: AIR Worldwide

The 2018 hurricane season featured an above-average number of storms, with hurricanes Florence and Michael setting records along the way, according to a Thursday briefing by AIR Worldwide.

The Boston-based catastrophe modeler also presented its modeled estimates for losses from the two storms.

AIR’s view of the industry insured wind and storm losses from Hurricane Florence are between $1.7 billion and $4.6 billion, said Karthik Ramanathan, AIR’s senior engineer in Boston.

Of that damage, commercial losses accounted for 22%, residential losses 74% and auto losses 4%, he said.

In contrast, commercial losses accounted for 39% of AIR’s wind and storm surge estimate for Hurricane Michael of $6 billion to $10 billion, with residential making up 57% and auto again at 4%, according to Mr. Ramanathan, who noted that “claims continue to evolve.”

The 2018 hurricane season was one of above-average activity and record-setting rain.

The 2018 hurricane season saw 15 named storms, more than the 30-year average of 12, and eight hurricanes, more than the 30-year average of six, said Eric Uhlhorn, principal scientist for AIR Worldwide.

Other notable 2018 firsts include the fact that Hurricane Michael was the first Category 4 storm ever to hit the Florida Panhandle, as well as the strongest, Mr. Uhlhorn said.

This is also the first time in recorded history that the United States has had three Category 4 storms make landfall in a two-year period, he added.

Not to be left out, Hurricane Florence turned out to be a record rainmaker, dumping 35.93 inches in North Carolina and 23.63 inches in South Carolina, both state records, Mr. Uhlhorn said.



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