Idalia insured losses keep coming, but nowhere near initial projections

by | Oct 20, 2023

  • Hurricane Idalia’s actual insured losses in Florida are significantly lower than early projections, with current estimates at $269.3 million.
  • Early predictions from data analytics firm Verisk had anticipated losses between $2.5 billion to $4 billion, primarily from wind damage.
  • While final totals are pending, current trends suggest that damages might not reach the catastrophic levels previously anticipated.

Actual insured losses from Hurricane Idalia continue to be well below initial projections. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation reported that estimated insured losses reached $269.3 million as of Thursday. This figure has seen a steady climb, up from $259.26 million just a week earlier, and $244.6 million two weeks prior. But the claims are, at least so far, nowhere near the multi-billion dollar projections made by industry experts Verisk and UBS.

Nevertheless, claims from the storm have also been on the rise. As of the latest data, 23,845 claims have been filed, marking a steady increase from previous weeks. Notably, 16,265 of these claims pertain to residential property damages, while others relate to damages such as auto incidents. The Office of Insurance Regulation also highlighted that approximately 69% of these claims have been closed, with 10,025 closed with payments and 6,457 closed without payments.

Notably, early estimates painted a more severe picture. Data from analytics firm Verisk, released on September 6, 2023, had projected onshore property insured losses from Hurricane Idalia to be between $2.5 billion to $4 billion. This estimate was largely attributed to wind damage and insured storm surge assessments along the hurricane’s trajectory. But Verisk’s projections were far more conservative than an assessment by UBS, which speculated insured losses could reach up to $9.36 billion. UBS even estimated a 10% possibility of the damages reaching a staggering $25.6 billion.

It appears we’re nowhere close to those figures.

Hurricane Idalia, a Category 3 storm, made landfall on Aug. 30 near Keaton Beach in Taylor County. While the storm mainly hit less populated areas, it wreaked havoc in smaller communities such as Perry and Cedar Key. The hurricane’s aftermath saw significant wind damage ranging from residential roof losses to extensive damage in commercial structures. Coastal areas, especially, bore the brunt of storm surge impacts with considerable damage to manufactured and residential homes.

While the current figures reflect a disparity from earlier projections, a final total has not yet been solidified. It may still be some time before all claims related to Hurricane Idalia are finalized. As the data continues to unfold, the state will gain a clearer understanding of the full economic impact of this significant weather event.


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