Hurricane Florence Losses Estimated at $3 to $5B

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Even as Hurricane Florence is pushing
unprecedented levels of flood waters into North and South Carolina homes,
CoreLogic is issuing estimates regarding the storm’s dollar costs.  Their analysis shows that insured property
losses for both residential and commercial properties will be between $3 and $5
billion. 

CoreLogic basis its estimates on the
National Hurricane Center’s 8 a.m. September 13 track of the storm and the cone
of uncertainty.  Florence made landfall
mid-morning on September 14 near New Bern, North Carolina and 250,000 homes in
that state are projected to be affected by the hurricane.  Losses in North Carolina are estimated to be
between $2.5 and $4.5 billion and South Carolina is expected to suffer to the
tune of $0.3 to $0.5 billion.

This includes wind damage and the storm
surge but does not include rainfall or flooding from rivers and other
sources. 
The company says the latter
cannot be estimated as the full rainfall footprint is an element in computing
the number and it is too early to forecast those losses.  Florence seems to have been particularly
confounding to those trying to chart her path, partially because she has moved
so slowly.

The table below indicates expected losses in the most coastal counties in
North Carolina and the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina at the two-state
border in the case of either a Category One or Category Two landfall.  The table does not consider inland flooding. Certain
counties will receive both Category 1 and Category 2 impacts because the
properties closer to the coast are likely to experience stronger winds relative
to the more inland properties. In particular, it is expected that South
Carolina will not exceed tropical storm force winds based on the projected
track and is therefore not included in the table.

 

 

The Florence losses are expected to be
larger than the three most recent historic hurricanes
if those events were to
occur today with the current property exposure. 
Bertha (1996), Bonnie (1998), and Floyd (1999) were all Category 2
storms at landfall.  Both Bertha and
Bonnie were $2 billion storms while Floyd caused $4 billion in claims.  The three had different tracks but were
comparable to Florence in terms of their wind impacts. The higher costs
expected from Florence are due to the significantly greater storm surge losses
that are expected.  None of the numbers
include inland flooding losses.



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