Hurricane Hermine Seen Costing Insurers Less Than $400 Million

  • RMS estimates include property damage, business interruption
  • Residential losses account for majority of insured cost

Hermine, the first hurricane to strike Florida since 2005, probably caused less than $400 million in insured damage, according to risk-modeling company RMS.

As much as 70 percent of the expense will be tied to residential properties, and insurers will also pay claims related to business interruption and vehicle damage, RMS said in a statement Monday. The total excludes costs borne by the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program.

Hermine hit Florida in early September as a Category 1 hurricane, and weakened into a tropical storm as moved its way to Georgia. Executives from Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. and Allstate Corp., the largest publicly traded U.S. home insurer, have said the industry was spared from what could have been a more expensive disaster.

“It’s not a devastating event,” Allstate Chief Executive Officer Tom Wilson said last week at a conference held by Barclays Plc.

The state’s biggest sellers of property coverage include Citizens Property Insurance Corp., Florida’s government-owned insurer of last resort, and Universal Insurance Holdings Inc., Meyer Shields of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods said in a Sept. 1 interview.

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