Hurricane Beryl insured losses likely in the billions – CoreLogic

US insurers alone expected to shoulder up to $1.2 billion

Hurricane Beryl insured losses likely in the billions – CoreLogic

Catastrophe & Flood

By Kenneth Araullo

The record-setting Hurricane Beryl likely caused billions of dollars in insured losses as it moved from the Windward Islands to the United States, according to analytics firm CoreLogic.

In the United States, insurers may have incurred losses between $750 million and $1.2 billion due to Beryl, which made its final landfall as a Category 1 storm in Texas on July 7 with wind speeds of 80 mph.

According to AM Best, CoreLogic's initial estimates put total insured wind and storm surge losses in Texas between $700 million and $1.5 billion. These losses include damage to residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural properties, as well as contents and business interruption, considering demand surge.

Potential insurable losses were estimated at $1 billion to $1.5 billion for the Windward Islands, and less than $1 billion for Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Mexico.

Gallagher Re indicated that wind-related insured losses could cost U.S. insurers hundreds of millions of dollars. The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association's potential share of these costs remains uncertain.

In the US, the storm damaged structures, downed trees, and caused flooding in roads and neighborhoods. Power outages were widespread in eastern Texas, including Houston. Beryl’s remnants could bring heavy rain and possible tornadoes to the mid-Mississippi and Ohio valley, Great Lakes, and Northeast regions.

Primary carriers will likely retain these losses, a BMS Group analyst said. Gallagher Re also noted that higher-than-expected wind gusts in the densely populated Houston metro area could lead to significant wind-related losses, exacerbated by Texas’s lack of stringent building codes.

Gallagher Re suggested that National Flood Insurance Program claims could reach hundreds of millions of dollars due to riverine overflow, flash flood damage, and coastal storm surge.

At the start of July, Beryl became the earliest recorded Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean, tying with 2005's Hurricane Emily as the strongest pre-August storm with winds of 165 mph.

Beryl is noted for resetting the early season Atlantic record book, according to Gallagher Re.

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