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Ian to firm up property rates; insurers positioned to absorb losses: S&P


Hurricane Ian is likely to be a significant loss event for the U.S. property/casualty and global reinsurance sectors and is expected to accelerate the firming of property rates in 2023, Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings said in a note Friday.

However, insurers are well-positioned to absorb losses, and losses for global reinsurers should remain within annual catastrophe budgets, S&P said.

Insured losses in just Florida are expected to be at the high end of a $30 billion to $40 billion range, due to Hurricane Ian’s size and intensity, including storm surge, and because it came ashore in a more populated area, S&P said.

Wind damage, storm surge and water damage from heavy rainfall will cause major losses for commercial and residential property insurers and, to a lesser extent, for auto insurers, S&P said. Flooding will add to the damages mainly for commercial property.

Hurricane Ian made landfall in the Fort Myers metro area of southwest Florida on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm with wind speeds of up to 155 mph, nearly a Category 5 storm. The hurricane made another landfall in South Carolina on Friday.

Citizens Property Insurance Corp., Florida’s state-backed insurer for homeowners, expects losses of about $3.8 billion, implying an industrywide loss of about $30 billion, the ratings agency said.

“We expect ratings should remain largely unaffected by the hurricane,” S&P said.