(Reuters) – Insurers face a hit of up to $57 billion as they try to assess damage from Hurricane Ian in Florida and South Carolina, risk modeling firm Verisk said on Monday.
The industry forecast includes estimated wind, storm surge and inland flood losses resulting from Ian’s landfall in the two states, Verisk said.
However, the estimate range, the low end of which was $42 billion, does not include elements such as losses to the National Flood Insurance Program and the potential impact of litigation or “social inflation” that could lead to a total insured industry loss of $60 billion.
The death toll from Hurricane Ian climbed past 80 on Sunday as embattled residents of Florida and the Carolinas grappled with a recovery expected to cost tens of billions of dollars, and some officials drew criticism over their response to the storm. Read the full story
Additionally, an estimated 628,285 homes and businesses were still without power in Florida early Monday after Hurricane Ian slammed into the state last week.
Recovery is expected to be slow and difficult due to inflation, high interest rates and labor and material costs, with litigation further complicating claims.
“For Ian, we expect some of the claims will take more than a year due to potential litigation,”; said Mohsen Rahnama, chief risk modeling officer, at disaster modeling firm RMS.
“Fundamentally, I believe this event will change Florida’s insurance market landscape,” he added.
About 1% of the total industry loss comes from the impact of Ian’s landfall in South Carolina, Verisk said.
U.S. real estate data and analytics firm CoreLogic on Friday pegged insured losses for Florida between $28 billion and $47 billion from Hurricane Ian, in what could be the state’s costliest storm since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.