Insured Losses From Hurricane Isaias Could Reach $4 Billion in U.S.

August 10, 2020

Hurricane Isaias likely caused $4 billion of insured losses in the U.S. and $200 million in the Caribbean, according to risk modelers at Karen Clark & Co.

The estimates cover privately insured wind and storm surge damage to residential, commercial, industrial properties and automobiles, KCC said. Costs from the government’s National Flood Insurance Program are not included.

Insurance broker Aon’s catastrophe risk analysis division Impact Forecasting said it is too early for it to provide an estimate of Isaias losses but it did project that total insured losses will exceed $1 billion and be matched by an equal amount in economic losses. Aon said this would make Hurricane Isaias the costliest event for the insurance and reinsurance industry thus far this year.

Isaias initially formed as a tropical storm on July 29, made Bahamian landfall on July 31 and grew into an 85-mile-per-hour storm as it made landfall in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. on Aug. 3.

The storm caused damage in more than 12 East Coast states. Damage included power outages, and downed trees that caused structural damage and crushed automobiles. More than three million customers along the Atlantic coast lost power. There was also wind damage to roof coverings and siding, and window openings of commercial and residential buildings during the hurricane. Some older buildings sustained severe structural damage.

In the Caribbean, high winds caused damage in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Bahamas, including downed trees and power lines. More than 350,000 people in Puerto Rico lost power and the storm damaged a number of communication towers, KCC said.

The damage done in the northeastern U.S. including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York looks be the main driver of insurance and reinsurance industry losses, according to Aon.

Storm surge along the coast was also seen to be particularly high, with surges reported in North Carolina.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) reported here were also at least 30 unofficial tornado touchdowns from Isaias, the strongest in North Carolina.

Top Photo: Debris covers the sidewalk in Southport, N.C. as hurricane Isaias moved through North Carolina early Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (WECT-TV via AP)

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