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The National Flood Insurance Program has paid out more than $8 billion in flood insurance claims related to 2017 catastrophes to date.
The 2017 hurricane season produced 17 named storms, 10 of which became hurricanes — six of those major hurricanes, including the first two major hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, to hit the continental United States in 12 years, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Friday in a statement.
FEMA also entered into a reinsurance agreement with 25 reinsurers last year, transferring a portion of the NFIP’s risk to the private sector — a move that allowed the program to recover $1.04 billion to pay NFIP claims when Hurricane Harvey losses exceeded $8 billion, according to the agency.
Private insurance partners were also directed to provide advance payments of up to $20,000 on flood claims, even before visits by an adjuster, and to waive the initial Proof of Loss requirement in many cases in paying out claims from the 2017 hurricane season, according to FEMA.
A report by Munich Reinsurance Co. said that hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused an estimated $215 billion worth of damage and about $100 billion in insured losses, BNamericas reported. The report said that such high-cost cycles may become increasingly routine due to climate change. The frequency of extreme storms of category 4 or category 5 is forecast to increase in most areas with continued climate change, the report added.