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The hurricane season is officially over, but it didn’t go by without leaving a major mark on Florida and its insurance industry.

Hurricane Irma, a name most in the state won’t soon forget, first hit the Florida Keys as a category 4 storm on Sunday, Sept. 10, with 130-mile per hour winds. It then worked its way north passing over the east and west coasts.

Loss estimates from Hurricane Irma have ranged between $25 billion to $65 billion by catastrophe modelers. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) reported total estimated insured losses at more than $5.8 billion as of Nov. 13, with more than 689,000 residential property claims and 51,396 commercial property claims. Business interruption claims reached more than 3,700 as of Nov. 3.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, 6.7 million homes and businesses — about 65 percent of the state — were without power.

The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund said the state fund that provides backing to private insurers would pay about $5.1 billion in claims. Florida estimated it had spent nearly $650 million on emergency resources and clean up from the storm.

Florida’s state-run insurer of last resort, Citizens, expects $1.2 billion in insured losses and 70,000 Hurricane Irma claims over the next 18-24 months. The carrier said Nov. 29 it had closed nearly two-thirds of the 62,000 claims it had seen so far, including more than 42,400 claims in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties.

The damage to Florida crops was also epic. According to The Associated Press, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Irma’s path couldn’t have been “more lethal” for Florida agriculture, with few crops spared. More than half of the state’s iconic orange crop is estimated to be lost.

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/11/30/472582.htm

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