Hurricane Ian threatens to become the insurance sector’s second biggest loss since Hurricane Katrina, with cost estimates to the industry ranging from $40-60bn (£35-52bn).
The Category 4 storm that hit Florida in late September was the deadliest storm to hit the sunshine state since the Labor Day Hurricane in 1935.
Hurricane Ian hit Cuba within 24 hours of forming before reaching landfall on the southwest coast of Florida on 28 September.
The storm subsequently progressed north and inland causing major flooding in the Floridian cities of Naples and Fort Myers Beach killing at least 136 in the US’ southernmost state.
The hurricane led to the deaths of a further five people in Cuba, five in North Carolina, and one in Virginia.
Analysts at Peel Hunt predicted Hurricane Ian will cost insurers $50bn, based on catastrophe modelling agencies estimates ranging from costs of $40-60bn – with most of the damage caused by flooding.
However, the analysts warned that while the storm is set to drag the insurance sector into a Q3 loss, the costs of Hurricane Ian likely fall within risk appetites and will be absorbed be reinsurers.
Hurricane Katrina was the largest loss to ever hit the insurance sector in causing an estimated $125bn in damage and leading to insured losses of $41.1bn – equivalent to $62.46bn in 2022.
The Category 5 storm led to more than 1,800 deaths, particularly in New Orleans, as an estimated more than 1,000 were killed in Louisiana.