Reinsurance News

Hurricane Michael claims exceed $6bn: FLOIR

19th March 2019 - Author: Luke Gallin

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR) has revealed that insurance claims from Hurricane Michael have now exceeded $6 billion, up from the $5.53 billion of insurance claims recorded in early February.


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

According to figures from the FLOIR, which is based on claims data reported by insurers that operate in the state of Florida, almost 80% of claims have now closed. While this is progress, the fact 20% of claims are still open means the total insurance industry loss will continue to rise.

FLOIR data shows that by line of business, commercial residential, commercial property and business interruption (BI) claims are lagging others. As an example, just 58% of commercial residential claims have been closed, compared with homeowners at 76.6% and dwelling at 82.3%. Just 42.5% of BI claims have been settled and 43.8% of commercial property claims, compared with 83.1% of private flood claims.

In 2018, the high-end insurance and reinsurance industry loss estimate for Michael is around $10 billion. At more than $6 billion with 20% of claims still open, it appears that the FLOIR estimate will be fairly close to the re/insurance market estimates, something that hasn’t been the case in the past with events such as Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Irma.

In fact, Hurricane Irma’s re/insurance industry loss is estimated at roughly $30 billion, but the FLOIR claims data failed to exceed $11 billion. With Hurricane Matthew, the market estimate was somewhere around the $4 billion mark, but again, FLOIR claims data reached less than $1.2 billion.

AmericanAg - Global Reinsurance Solutions

Of course, the FLOIR only collects data from the Florida market, when all the storms mentioned actually impacted other states. However, with previous storms, the FLOIR figure has been much further away from the industry estimate than it is with Hurricane Michael, which is interesting.

The latest figures from the FLOIR are as of March 15th 2019, and reveals that out of 144,116 claims, 29,229 remain open.

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