First round of Hurricane Ian insurance claims totals $474 million

click to enlarge First round of Hurricane Ian insurance claims totals $474 million
Matt Keller Lehman

A first batch of insurance claims from Hurricane Ian showed nearly $474 million in estimated insured losses, according to data posted on the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation website. Insurers were required to begin submitting claims data Friday and will continue submitting the information each day through Oct. 7.

The first batch included 62,047 claims, with estimated losses totaling $473.828 million. The vast majority of the claims, 49,191, were for residential properties, while other types could include such things as auto-damage claims.

The data show about 1.1 percent of the claims had been closed, with 609 closed without payments and 48 closed with payments. The Category 4 Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday in Lee and Charlotte counties and then barreled across the state.

It came amid widespread financial problems in the state’s property-insurance industry. Fitch Ratings said Thursday that an initial analysis indicated insured losses from the storm could range from $25 billion to $40 billion. DBRS Morningstar, another ratings agency, also released an estimate of $25 billion to $40 billion in insured losses Friday.

“Claims arising from Ian will support the trend of property risk in Florida being more and more expensive and difficult to insure,” Patrick Douville, vice president, insurance, for DBRS Morningstar said in a prepared statement. “Impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels and coastal erosion, combined with high population and property value growth in coastal areas, will add to the existing woes of the Florida insurance market, which has seen multiple insurer failures in recent years.”