Source: Pixabay
12 October 2018Insurance

Hurricane Michael insured losses estimated at $8bn

Insured losses from Hurricane Michael will be close to $8 billion, according to catastrophe modelling agency Karen Clark & Company (KCC).

This estimate includes the privately insured wind and storm surge damage to residential, commercial, and industrial properties and automobiles. It does not include NFIP losses.

Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, with strong category 4 wind speeds on October 10. Michael reached peak intensity of 155 mph just before landfall, making Michael the strongest hurricane to impact the Florida Panhandle in recorded history, KCC noted. The hurricane rapidly intensified from category 2 to category 4 hurricane in 24 hours. It had the fourth highest wind speeds of a hurricane to make landfall in the US in recorded history, the agency said. Michael’s peak winds at landfall were just behind the three category 5 storms that have made landfall since 1900 – Labor Day (1935), Camille (1969), and Andrew (1992). Michael caused damage across five states, with the majority of the loss in Florida and Georgia.

The highest wind speeds of 155 mph, the equivalent of an EF-3 tornado, impacted a narrow area through Bay County, Florida, and resulted in extensive wind-related damage across all lines of business and construction types.

Residential structures impacted by the category 4 wind speeds sustained heavy damage. Once the roofs are blown off, single family homes will fail due to the loss of structural integrity, KCC noted.

Many types of commercial structures including apartment complexes, office buildings, and schools sustained heavy damage. Hotels, especially those along the coast, sustained damage to windows, roofs, and other elements due to high winds.

Light-metal and frame structures in this area were unable to withstand the high wind speeds, and this damage is consistent with expectations of a storm of this strength. Tyndall Air Force Base, also in the eye of the storm, sustained major damage.

KCC estimates that nearly one half of the $8 billion insured loss from Hurricane Michael occurred in two Florida counties – Bay and Gulf.

While Michael was predominantly a wind event, storm surge impacts were devastating in specific areas such as Mexico Beach. Storm surge depths ranged from 9 to 14 feet along the most impacted area of the coast between Mexico Beach and Apalachee Bay.

KCC estimates total damages from storm surge of $3.7 billion, of which about ten percent will be insured.

Get all the latest re/insurance industry news with our daily newsletter -  sign up here.

More of today's news

MS&AD seeks acquisitions, growth outside Japan 

Top UK, US insurtech firms revealed in InsurTech 100 global list

Former CEO Fonseca resurfaces as Brokerslink chairman

Liberty forms new global financial risk unit with LSM, Ironshore experts

The Hanover expands financial institutions business with Allianz hire

RGA, RenRe backed Langhorne Re reveals CEO of US subsidiaries

Liberty makes senior hire from Ironshore in Europe

IGI appoints new chief actuary from Capsicum Re

Insurtech iX Technology appoints exec chair from Canopius

Don't miss our insurtech email newsletter - sign up today

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Elliot Field at or Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

11 October 2018   Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane along the Florida Panhandle coast yesterday (Oct. 10) and is expected to have caused damage from wind and storm surge in the range of $2 billion to $4.5 billion, according to CoreLogic estimates.
16 October 2018   Industry insured losses resulting from hurricane Michael’s winds and storm surge will range from $6 billion to $10 billion, according to estimates by catastrophe risk modelling firm AIR Worldwide.
12 November 2018   Bermuda-based specialty lines insurance and treaty reinsurance provider AXIS Capital Holdings estimated its pre-tax loss from hurricane Michael in the range of $100 million to $120 million, net of estimated recoveries from reinsurance and retrocessional covers and including the impact of estimated reinstatement premiums.