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Universal estimates nearly $1 billion loss from Hurricane Ian


(Reuters) — Florida-based Universal Insurance Holdings Inc. on Tuesday forecast a gross loss of nearly $1 billion from Hurricane Ian, some of which will be covered by its reinsurance program.

“To date, we've received approximately 18,000 claims, roughly half the number of Hurricane Irma claims received at this point,” the company said in a statement.

Shares of the property/casualty insurer were up nearly 2% in extended trading after it said the loss was well below its $3 billion overall reinsurance cover.

According to U.S. property data and analytics company CoreLogic, insurers are bracing for what could be the costliest Florida storm since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, with impact estimated to be between $28 billion and $47 billion.

“Hurricane Ian will forever change the real estate industry and city infrastructure. Insurers will go into bankruptcy, homeowners will be forced into delinquency, and insurance will become less accessible in regions like Florida,” said Tom Larsen, associate vice president, Hazard & Risk Management, at CoreLogic.

Risk modeling company Verisk said insurers could take a hit of up to $57 billion due to wind, storm surge and inland flood losses resulting from Ian's landfalls.