Citizens adjusts Hurricane Ian cost estimate to nearly $4 billion

by | Nov 15, 2022

  • Citizens now estimates Hurricane Ian damages to total nearly $4 billion
  • Last month they projected its expenses at $2.3 billion to $2.6 billion from the Category 4 hurricane

The state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corporation updated its Hurricane Ian estimates on Tuesday, increasing the costs to nearly $4 billion.

In a news release, Citizens estimates that direct losses and loss adjustment expenses will total $3.8 billion from the Category 4 storm that ripped through Southwest Florida in late September.

Hurricane Ian made landfall on Sept. 28, pummeling Florida’s Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 155 mph before cutting across toward the east coast. The storm left a path of destruction across the Sunshine State, producing catastrophic flooding and storm surge. It is the third-deadliest storm to hit the U.S., eclipsed only by hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.

Citizens said its initial estimate of $2.3 billion to $2.6 billion was based on one hurricane model. The revised projection of $3.8 billion incorporates the results of a second hurricane model, which factors in in actual claims data, additional provisions for litigation costs, and inflation.

Of the $3.8 billion direct losses and loss adjustment expenses, the revised projection anticipates that $1.4 billion will be ceded to the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF) and private reinsurance. The catastrophe bonds Citizens has in place are not expected to be triggered. After the consideration of this reinsurance, the net impact to Citizens’ surplus is $2.4 billion.

Citizens noted that the early projections could continue to climb as it could take several years to fully mature. They added that estimates will be reevaluated at the end of the year once they have a full three months of actual claim activity to analyze.

“We will continue to update the market and other stakeholders as we gather additional information from actual losses,” said Jennifer Montero, Citizens’ Chief Financial Officer.

Additionally, Citizens said it doesn’t anticipate major financial losses from Hurricane Nicole, which made landfall early Thursday south of Vero Beach as a Category 1 storm before weakening to a tropical storm.

Citizens had 1.121 million policies on its books as of November 11. The company has seen its policy count grow by approximately 363,000 since January 1, a 47.7% increase.


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