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Florida regulator pegs insured Michael losses at $4.9bn

11th January 2019 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Total re/insured losses resulting from Hurricane Michael in Florida are estimated to be approximately $4.9 billion, according to data compiled by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR).

hurricane-michael-insured-losses

Aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida. Source: Gerald Herbert / AP

The state regulator’s estimate is based on information from claims data filed by insurers, and shows that a total of 136,873 claims have been registered so far, with 71.1% now closed.

The majority of these claims related to residential property policies (90,526), FLOIR explained, of which homeowners accounted for 65,859, dwelling 14,825, mobile homeowners 9,126, and commercial residential 716.

FLOIR also counted a total of 9,626 commercial property claims, as well as 191 private flood, 735 business interruption, and 35,795 claims classed as ‘other lines of business.’

It is important to note that these claims and the accompanying loss estimate only relate to the state of Florida, with total re/insurance losses across all impacted areas expected to be significantly higher.

Reinsurer Munich Re recently estimated that industry losses from Hurricane Michael would reach $10 billion, representing 60% of the storm’s total anticipated economic cost of $16 billion.

According to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF) Anne Bert, the fund has now reimbursed 12 carriers $220 million, which is expected to grow to $650 million. The fund takes action once industry losses exceed roughly $7.3 billion.

Michael made landfall along the central Florida panhandle in October as Category 4 storm with wind speeds of up to 250 km/h (155mph), making it the fourth-strongest storm to ever hit the U.S mainland.

Strong winds and storm surge of up to 8 feet devastated many coastal areas, particularly those with older buildings that did not meet the latest standards.

Data from FLOIR shows that Florida’s Bay County was most affected by the storm, with 81,736 claims filed, followed by Jackson County at 13,362 and Leon County at 9,319.

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