Dorian insured losses could reach US$3bn

The effect of Hurricane Dorian is expected to lead to insurance payouts of up to US$3bn in the Bahamas, according to catastrophe risk modelling firm AIR Worldwide.
The figure highlights the devastation that the storm, which has left at least 43 dead and as many as 70,000 homeless, has had on the Caribbean.

Arriving at Great Abaco Island on 1st September, Hurricane Dorian hit Category 5. At this intensity, Dorian was the second strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded and by far the most powerful on record to hit the Bahamas. It is the first time a Category 5 storm has hit the Bahamas since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Reaching its peak intensity after landfall, the hurricane’s forward speed decreased, and it reached Grand Bahama Island on 2nd September. The next day Dorian made its way north westward, heading towards Florida. Categorised now as Category 2, it made is way northward on 4th and 5th September.

AIR damage estimates include all of the Caribbean, but due to Dorian’s pathway, most of the Caribbean remained untouched outside of the Bahamas. However, the damage in the Bahamas is “devastating,” the firm said.

AIR stated that of the affected areas in the Bahamas, Grand Bahama and Abaco Island were the hardest hit by Dorian. “Buildings were destroyed, roofs were torn off, trees were felled, streets and homes were flooded, and cars, boats, and debris were strewn everywhere,” AIR Worldwide’s report said.

Insurance model estimates include damage to residential, commercial, and industrial properties, living expenses during recovery and wind damages, according to the report. Being a modelled estimate of industry insured losses, the total does not include all potentially damaged and insured assets, so loss to offshore properties, uninsured properties and infrastructure are not included. The true extent of industry losses could be higher once all claims are in.

The US National Hurricane Centre declared that Hurricane Dorian is now "fully extra-tropical" in what the centre said would be its last advisory on the storm.

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