Hurricane Idalia Insured Loss Estimated at $3 Billion to $5 Billion

Beach with red warning flag, rough waves, debris, broken pier, and storm clouds

September 07, 2023 |

Beach with red warning flag, rough waves, debris, broken pier, and storm clouds

Risk modeling firm Moody's RMS has estimated total private-market insured losses from Hurricane Idalia at between $3 billion and $5 billion, with a best estimate of $3.5 billion.

The estimate represents insured losses resulting from wind, storm surge, and precipitation-induced flooding.

"Major Hurricane Idalia could have been much more impactful had the storm taken a different track or not weakened just before landfall," Jeff Waters, staff product manager, North Atlantic Hurricane Models at Moody's RMS, said in a statement. "As a result, the tight gradient of damaging winds combined with limited exposure and low flood take-up rates in the worst-affected area should reduce the overall level of insured losses."

Still, Mr. Waters suggested, losses from Hurricane Idalia are likely to test Florida (re)insurers following the passage of state legislation in recent months aimed at stabilizing Florida's property insurance market and limiting the impacts of social inflation.

In addition to losses in the private insurance market, Moody's RMS estimated that the US National Flood Insurance Program will experience approximately $500 million in losses from Hurricane Idalia.

While wind and storm surge will drive the insured losses from Hurricane Idalia, flood could be responsible for up to one-third of the total losses from the event, Moody's RMS said.

Hurricane Idalia was the ninth named storm of the 2023 North Atlantic hurricane season, the third hurricane, and the second named storm to make landfall in the United States this season, Moody's RMS said. It made landfall August 30 near Keaton Beach, Florida, as a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour, making 2023 the fourth consecutive year that a major hurricane has made landfall in the United States.

The storm was the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida's Big Bend region since recordkeeping began in 1842, Moody's RMS said, and the eighth major hurricane to make landfall in the continental United States since 2017.

September 07, 2023