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Aug 28, 2023

Hurricane Idalia reports - update 4 September

Image for Hurricane Idalia reports - update 4 September

Idalia made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane bringing storm force winds (up to 125mph) and storm surges of 10 feet high in some places, with lower levels along a wide stretch of coastline. Thankfully, having intensified rapidly on approach to Category 4, Idalia weakened to Category 3 before making landfall.

As a result of coming ashore in a low population/residence area, there was less destruction than once feared and the suggested economic loss looks to be 10% of last year’s Hurricane Ian at US$10bn to US$20bn and the insured industry estimated loss will be a proportion of this, with a range of US$3bn to US$9bn estimated. Remember this is early days yet and uncertainty about the eventual insured loss will remain for some time due to various factors. Separate cover has to be purchased by Florida homeowners to cover flood and storm surge.

Idalia continued to track across Georgia and South Carolina causing flooding and so the insured loss may increase to take account of damage in those states.

An article (available here) by the global broker BMS’s meteorologist Andrew Siffert contains some useful information and overview.

The Verisk catastrophe modeler firm has published a recent report available here.

Update 4 September: Verisk estimates that the insured loss could be U$2.5bn to US$4.5bn. It also comments on the severe wind damage to properties close to Idalia's landfall. The estimate excludes the impact to the NFIP programme.

We will update this article if more useful information becomes available. The conclusion at this time is that Idalia will not be a significant event. The hurricane season remains active for some time.