AIR Reduces Hurricane Irma U.S. Loss Estimate To Up To $40bn

by: Steve Evans

AIR Worldwide has reduced its estimate for insurance and reinsurance industry losses from hurricane Irma's impacts in the United States, putting it in a range from $20 billion to $40 billion.

Two days ago AIR had estimated the industry loss from the event at $20 billion to $65 billion including the Caribbean, with the U.S. likely to suffer up to $50 billion of the toll.

Now, given hurricane Irma's westward track, the risk modelling firm has put the U.S. industry loss a little lower, as it becomes clearer that the impact could be slightly lower.

Significant uncertainty remains, with elements such as storm surge damage difficult to project at this stage. But AIR's model runs show the range of possible outcomes narrowing, with the upper end of estimates falling to $40 billion.

It's also early in the event still, with hurricane Irma still a hurricane in the Tampa area and high levels of rainfall expected as it tracks northwards and weakens further.

Reinsurance firms and analysts suggested today that the loss from hurricane Irma, combined with Harvey and other events, could be enough to at least stabilise pricing, perhaps with some firming of rates in localised areas and programs.

AIR said that the modeled insured loss estimate for the U.S. includes wind and storm surge damage to onshore residential, commercial, and industrial properties and their contents, automobiles, and time element coverage (additional living expenses for residential properties and business interruption for commercial properties).

It does not include losses paid out by the National Flood Insurance Program, losses to uninsured properties, losses to inland marine, marine cargo and hull and pleasure boats, and losses to infrastructure.

Editor's Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.