At $22 Billion, Insured Losses from Four Florida Hurricanes Will Exceed Andrew’s Record

October 1, 2004

Insurance claim payments to victims of the four Florida hurricanes to date will exceed $22 billion, surpassing the insurance payout from Hurricane Andrew, the costliest natural disaster in history, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Only the $32 billion in insured losses from the 9/11 terrorist attack exceeds the estimated claim payments from this year’s Florida hurricanes.

Claims from Hurricane Andrew in 1992 totaled $15.5 billion or $20 billion in today’s dollars, the I.I.I. said. Claim payments from the four storms are estimated at between $22 billion to $23 billion.

Insurance Services Office, Inc.’s Property Claim Services has estimated insured losses from Hurricane Charley at $6.8 billion and Hurricane Frances at $4.4 billion. Preliminary estimates from modeling firms project insured losses from Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne in the $4 billion to $7 billion range each.

This means that four of the top 10 most costly hurricanes in U.S. history have occurred in Florida this year within a span of just six weeks.

The I.I.I. stressed that while the insurance industry has sufficient financial resources to pay the claims, the unprecedented quartet of hurricanes will make the claims handling process in Florida more difficult.

An estimated 15,000 insurance company claims adjusters from across the United States and Canada are now in Florida to speed the claims settlement process. Additional adjusters are in Alabama, Georgia and other affected areas.

TOP TEN MOST COSTLY HURRICANES
($ billions, as of September 30, 2004)

Estimated insured losses

Rank Year Hurricane Dollars when occurred In 2003 dollars (1)
1 1992 Andrew $15.5 $20.3
2 2004 Charley 6.8 (2) 6.8 (2)
3 1989 Hugo 4.2 6.2
4 2004 Jeanne 5.0 – 7.0 (3) 5.0 – 7.0 (3)
5 2004 Frances 4.4 (4) 4.4 (4)
6 2004 Ivan 4.0 – 5.0 (3) 4.0 – 5.0 (3)
7 1998 Georges 2.9 3.3
8 1995 Opal 2.1 2.5
9 1999 Floyd 2.0 2.2
10 1992 Iniki 1.6 2.1
(1) Adjusted to 2003 dollars by the Insurance Information Institute.
(2) Expressed in 2004 dollars.
(3) Insurance Information Institute preliminary estimate, expressed in 2004 dollars.
(4) Insurance Services Office, Inc. preliminary estimate, expressed in 2004 dollars.

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Latest Comments

  • October 9, 2004 at 1:16 am
    Michael says:
    I Appreciate the information.
  • October 8, 2004 at 11:53 am
    America's Finest Construction says:
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  • October 6, 2004 at 9:27 am
    Joy says:
    Michael, I sure do understand your concern for your uncle and hopefully he chose a good insurance agent that took the time to properly insure the house. Homeowners policies in... read more
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