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How much damage did Matthew cause?


Two days ago Fortune Magazine was predicting that Hurricane Matthew could end up being a disaster, "... well into the nine figures in the U.S."

fullscreen-capture-1082016-72624-am-bmpThey based this prediction on work done by analysts at CoreLogic, the global property information and analytics firm. CoreLogic put together estimates of “number of properties at risk of storm surge damage for each of the five hurricane categories as well as the accompanying reconstruction cost value for these properties.”

Their estimate: As much as $326 billion dollars.

It’s highly unlikely, though, that damage will reach that level. This number assumed Matthew would remain a category four hurricane as it blasted four states: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

The worst hurricane, in terms of damage in the U.S.—Katrina—which decimated New Orleans, topped out at just over $50 billion in fullscreen-capture-1082016-72751-am-bmpdamage.

According to Money Magazine the data modelling firm RMS told clients earlier this week its initial estimates were a 42% chance of a $20 billion insurance loss and a 26% chance of a $30 billion loss from the hurricane.

Yet another prediction came from Kinetic Analysis. Their number? Insured losses of $25 billion which would still make Matthew the second most costly hurricane in U.S. history behind Katrina.

Regardless of the final damage number everyone will be wondering what effect, if any, Matthew will have on insurance rates.

Most insurance policies cover wind damage. Flood damage is covered by FEMA, so that should have little affect. Experts say it is too early to tell how insurance rates will be effected, but one thing is clear; Wall Street investors are optimistic.

Shares of insurance companies with Florida polices rallied on Friday. The same stocks declined on Thursday as Matthew approached Florida.

Shares of United Insurance Holdings gained 10%, Federated National Holding rose 8%, and Universal Insurance Holdings climbed 17% in mid-morning trading in New York.


Hurricane Matthew


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