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Hurricane Otis insured losses pegged at $2.5 billion to $4.5 billion


Insured losses from Hurricane Otis are expected to be between $2.5 billion and $4.5 billion, according to Risk Management Solutions Inc., a Moody’s Analytics company.

This estimate represents insured losses associated primarily with wind damage from the “devastating” Category 5 hurricane that made landfall Oct. 25 in Acapulco, Mexico, Moody’s RMS said in a statement Monday.

It includes property damage and business interruption losses to residential, commercial, industrial, and automobile lines of business, and considers the potential for post-event loss amplification, inflationary trends, and non-modeled sources of loss, including infrastructure damage.

The estimate does not include losses for any sovereign protection programs as a result of this event, which include both traditional (re)insurance and insurance-linked securities, the statement said.

Insured losses from Otis will be driven by wind damage with minor contributions from storm surge and precipitation-induced flooding. Insured wind losses will be predominantly for commercial lines, including commercial multi-family dwellings, hotels, resorts and high-rise buildings.

The range for insured losses is similar to that for Hurricane Idalia, which struck the Big Bend region of Florida in September.

Wind losses from Otis are based on analysis of footprints and events in Moody’s RMS Version 23 North Atlantic Hurricane Models using an internal industry exposure database for Mexico.

Jeff Waters, staff product manager, North Atlantic Hurricane Models, at Moody’s RMS, in the statement called Otis  “unprecedented” as a Category 5 storm with 165 mph sustained winds, which was the strongest landfalling hurricane on record not only in the Acapulco region but in Mexico as a whole.

Rajkiran Vojjala, vice president, model development at Moody’s RMS, noted in the statement that “Otis caused some of the most incredible wind damage to modern-day high-rise structures we have ever seen.”

Hurricane Otis was the 15th named storm of the 2023 Pacific Hurricane Season, the 10th hurricane, and the eighth major hurricane. Otis was the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall on the west coast of Mexico since recordkeeping began.