Hurricane Matthew, which devastated parts of the Caribbean before battering the U.S. East Coast, may cost insurers as much as $8.8 billion, according to AIR Worldwide.
The catastrophe-modeling firm estimates insured losses range from $2.2 billion to $6.8 billion for the U.S. and from $600 million to $2 billion for the Caribbean.
Matthew left hundreds of people dead in Haiti and killed at least 15 in the U.S., causing damage in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.
At $8.8 billion of insured losses, Matthew wouldn’t make it to the top 10 list of the costliest claims for insurers and the re-insurers who help them shoulder risks.
The closest the center of the storm came to onshore properties in Florida was 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Cape Canaveral, “where NASA’s rocket launch facility experienced damage to roofs, windows and siding, as well as some water intrusion,” AIR said in an emailed statement.
The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June through November and can result in the industry’s biggest losses, typically sees the most activity from mid-August to mid-October.
The industry’s most expensive natural disaster so far was Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005, leading to $60.5 billion in claims, according to data by Munich Re.
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