Insured losses from Dorian may reach $3bn

  • Losses estimated: Dorian hit the Bahamas as a category 5 hurricane. Insured losses in the Caribbean have been estimated as likely to be in the range $1.5 billion to $3 billion (Photograph by NOAA vía AP)

Insured losses from Hurricane Dorian have been estimated at between $1.5 billion and $3 billion, by AIR Worldwide.

The catastrophe risk modelling firm said Dorian first made landfall on August 28 at St Thomas, but quickly strengthened to maximum category 5 as it reached the northwestern islands of the Bahamas on September 1.

In Grand Bahamas and Abaco Island buildings were destroyed, roofs were torn off, trees were felled, streets and homes were flooded, and cars, boats, and debris were strewn everywhere.

Hundreds of people remain missing, while the official death count in the Bahamas from the hurricane is 43.

Dorian moved away from the Bahamas and weakened as it moved north in proximity to the US coastline. It later made landfall on a peninsula of North Carolina, and on Saturday swept across Nova Scotia, Canada, as a post-tropical cyclone.

AIR’s modelled insured loss estimates for the Caribbean include damage to onshore residential, commercial, and industrial properties and their contents, as well as automobiles; time element coverage (additional living expenses for residential properties and business interruption for commercial properties that experience physical loss from both direct and indirect sources); and storm surge.

The estimates do not include loss to offshore properties, pleasure boats, and marine craft; losses to infrastructure; losses from hazardous waste cleanup, vandalism, or civil commotion whether directly or indirectly caused by the event; demand surge; losses resulting from the compromise of existing defences, such as levees.