RMS Estimates $4 to $8 Billion Insured Losses from Hurricane Jeanne

September 27, 2004

Risk Management Solutions (RMS) estimates insured losses from Hurricane Jeanne will be between $4 to $8 billion, based on an assessment of the hurricane’s characteristics at the time of landfall and its projected path.

Jeanne made landfall just before midnight on Saturday, September 25 near Stuart, Florida as a category 3 hurricane. The landfall point is estimated to be within a few miles of Hurricane Frances’ landfall just three weeks ago. According to Property Claim Services (PCS), insured losses in Florida from Frances are currently estimated at $4.1 billion. RMS’ higher loss range for Jeanne reflects the added uncertainty in damage accumulations likely at many locations. Early aerial surveys showed many roofs that had temporary coverings from Frances damage, as well as additional damage likely sustained from Jeanne. Insured losses could also rise if deductibles for Jeanne are waived for some properties due to the overlap of damages from Frances, similar to what occurred for some properties affected by Hurricanes Frances and Charley last month.

Jeanne is the fourth major hurricane to strike Florida this season, bringing the state’s cumulative insured losses to as much as $25 billion. RMS estimates that this aggregate loss level would occur on average once every 25-40 years in Florida. A fifth storm landfalling in Florida would be extremely rare, expected to occur only once every few thousand years. RMS is sending a reconnaissance team to Florida to initiate damage surveys today. They will be assessing the performance of structures in the affected region, and validating reported wind speeds. RMS will also be commissioning aerial surveys to supplement field work.

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