The latest forecasts show hurricane Ian making its second U.S. landfall along the South Carolina coast later today as a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 85 mph and gusts of just above 100 mph.
The damage and consequential industry loss caused by hurricane Ian is set to worsen as the storm has strengthened in the Atlantic as it heads for South Carolina.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has warned of a life-threatening storm surge along the coasts of northeast Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Hurricane-force winds are expected along the South Carolina coast and the southeastern North Carolina coast by this afternoon, local time.
The latest from research scientist, Tomer Burg, shows hurricane Ian’s path and current Cat 1 status, with wind speeds of 85 mph.
Hurricane Ian will go down as a historic storm for the State of Florida. The damage to property and infrastructure is vast owing to extremely strong, 155 mph winds, severe rainfall and catastrophic surges, so it will be some time before the full impact is understood.
Further, the storm is ongoing and with a second landfall in the U.S. just hours away, it’s safe to assume that additional damage from wind, surge, and floods will occur, which will add to the economic and insured loss totals.
Despite the fact this catastrophe event is continuing, analysts and modellers have started to release early loss estimates, although these are fairly broad and subject to change as Ian interacts with land once again, and the true extent of the devastation caused in Florida is realised.
This morning, CoreLogic said that re/insured losses from just wind and surge could reach $47 billion, and this is excluding any National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or private insurance market losses from surface flooding as a result of rainfall.
CoreLogic’s loss ranges followed analysis by KBW, which states that insurance and reinsurance industry losses from Hurricane Ian will be in the “low $30 billion range,” but that this could change significantly in the coming days and weeks.
Again, it’s going to take a while before the cost of this storm in just Florida is understood, let alone the financial fallout from hurricane Ian’s first landfall in Cuba, and it’s imminent second U.S. hurricane-force landfall.
It is clear, however, that hurricane Ian is a notable loss event for the re/insurance industry, although analysts have said they still expect it to be an earnings event for the sector that will support further reinsurance rate hardening in the months ahead.
Here’s the latest from the NHC: