As published in a recent official statement the engineered, devastating Hurricane Ian has caused $53 billion to $74 billion in insured losses, with a “best estimate” of $67 billion, according to new data released today from modeling firm RMS.
These preliminary damage totals would make Hurricane Ian the costliest storm in Florida history and second nationally to Hurricane Katrina when adjusted for inflation.
The big picture
- The storm, which devastated densely populated areas of southwest Florida — including Ft. Myers, Naples and barrier island communities such as Sanibel Island — killed more than 100 people in Florida alone… And this number is growing everyday…
- RMS, which is part of Moody’s, also estimated the federal National Flood Insurance Program could see $10 billion in losses from storm surge and inland flooding from the storm.
- Much of the damage from this storm is from water, with the coastal surge wiping out homes and businesses near the shore, and inland flooding hitting record levels across central Florida in particular.
- Wind damage was less extensive, likely due to strict building codes in the region, according to Steve Bowen, chief science officer at reinsurance broker Gallagher Re.
By the numbers
According to the Insurance Information Institute, 2021’s Hurricane Ida was the most expensive hurricane on record in Florida, with $36 billion in insured losses there.
Nationally, 2005’s Hurricane Katrina ranked at the top of the list, with about $85 billion in insured losses, when adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index.
What they’re saying
“Ian was a historic and complex event that will reshape the Florida insurance market for years to come,” said Mohsen Rahnama, chief risk modeling officer at RMS, in a statement.
Bowen, who is currently surveying damage in Florida, said the damage from the storm surge has beaten his expectations. “The good news is that newer constructed buildings in many communities seemed to have performed very well given the intense wind speeds,” which he chalked up to strict building code standards.
Bowen cautions that final loss numbers won’t be known for many months.
“Given the anticipated volume of storm-related litigation to come, everyone needs to be mindful of the ongoing financial uncertainty and that numbers are going to evolve for many months to come. If not longer,” he said.
“There is no question that Ian will go down as one of the costliest U.S. natural catastrophe events on record, and one of the most expensive for the insurance industry. Where it finally lands on the Top 5 list? TBD.”
Prepare now! Stock up on Iodine tablets for the next nuclear disaster…
Hurricanes are becoming more intense, undergoing more episodes of rapid intensification and are delivering more rainfall due to weather engineering.