RMS Estimates Hurricane Delta Onshore US Losses at Up to $3.5 Billion

Image of blue "Hurricane Evacuation Route" sign against blue sky

October 21, 2020 |

Image of blue "Hurricane Evacuation Route" sign against blue sky

Catastrophe risk modeling firm RMS has estimated total onshore US losses from Hurricane Delta at between $2.0 billion and $3.5 billion. The loss estimate includes losses to the National Flood Insurance Program of between $200 million and $400 million, RMS said.

The RMS estimate includes wind, storm surge, and inland flood losses across the affected states, including Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi.

RMS said its Hurricane Delta loss estimate includes a 15 percent reduction in insured onshore losses due to the cumulative impacts of Hurricane Laura, which damaged much of the same region 6 weeks earlier.

"The overlapping nature of Delta and Laura will create a complicated claims management and loss attribution process for the industry," Jeff Waters, senior product manager, RMS North Atlantic Hurricane Models, said in a statement.

"We determined that more than half of the impacted postal codes were also impacted by Laura, representing more than 90 percent of loss in this event," said Mr. Waters. "While Delta caused higher-than-expected damage to many structures due to preexisting damage from Laura, reduced overall exposure-at-risk in the overlapping region after Laura means losses attributed to Delta will end up being lower than if Laura had never happened."

Losses related to Hurricane Delta reflect property damage and business interruption to residential, commercial, industrial, and automobile lines of business, RMS said, along with post-event loss amplification and nonmodeled sources of loss. RMS said it expects most losses will be from residential lines.

RMS estimates Hurricane Delta losses in Mexico at less than $500 million. Additionally, losses to offshore platforms, rigs, and pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico are not expected to exceed $1.0 billion from wind and wave-driven damages, RMS said.

Hurricane Delta made landfall near Creole, Louisiana, on October 9 as a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 100 mph at landfall.

October 21, 2020