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Hurricane Idalia insured losses to near $2.2 billion, says KCC

1st September 2023 - Author: Luke Gallin

Catastrophe risk modeller Karen Clark & Company (KCC) has pegged privately insured losses from Hurricane Idalia at close to $2.2 billion, the majority of which relates to wind and storm surge impacts in the U.S.

kcc-idaliaKCC’s estimate is low compared with other early insured loss estimates for Idalia, and includes privately insured damage to residential, commercial, and industrial properties, as well as automobiles.

The close to $2.2 billion estimate does not include damage to boats, offshore properties, or National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) losses.

Although Hurricane Idalia weakened from a Cat 4 storm to a Cat 3 prior to landfall on Florida’s big bend region, it was still the strongest hurricane to make landfall at this location since 1986.

U.S. impacts from the hurricane spread across a wide area, with likely record-breaking storm surge and powerful winds causing damage in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Across Florida and Georgia, more than 450,000 customers were without power, says KCC.

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The reason for the relatively low insured loss total in the U.S. is the fact Idalia made landfall along one of the least populated areas of the Florida coast. All in all, KCC estimates that insured wind losses from Idalia will be near $2 billion.

The cat risk modeller describes the storm surge impacts as likely record-breaking, with initial estimates showing surge heights of more than 9 feet in the Steinhatchee River, 8 feet in Cedar Key, and 4.5 feet in Tampa Bay, all of which would break previous records.

In total, KCC estimates insured storm surge losses from Idalia of close to $210 million.

Idalia also passed by the western side of Cuba in the Caribbean on its way to Florida, bringing heavy rainfall and strong winds which led to flash flooding and landslides and the loss of power for over 300,000 people.

KCC estimates that the total insured loss in the Caribbean from Idalia will be less than $5 million.

As we reported yesterday, initial insured loss estimates from the impacts of Hurricane Idalia have ranged between $3 billion and $9 billion, with many suggesting a total towards the lower end of the range.

While KCC’s estimate does not include NFIP, boats or offshore property losses, it’s another estimate that is far lower than feared just 24 hours prior to landfall.

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