Losses caused by Hurricane Laura could range between $4 billion to $9 billion, according to risk modelling firms.
Karen Clark and Company (KCC) estimated the total loss will amount to $9 billion, with $8.7 billion of this expected in the USA from wind and storm surge damages, with another $200 million of insured damage caused in Antigua, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.
KCC’s estimate includes privately insured wind and storm surge damage to residential, commercial, and industrial properties and automobiles, but does not include any National Flood Insurance Program losses or losses to offshore assets.
The company said major hurricane force winds impacted along the western Louisiana coastline causing extensive structural damage to all types of properties, including wood frame homes and commercial structures.
Meanwhile catastrophe risk modelling firm AIR Worldwide put the range of losses at between $4 billion to $8 billion.
AIR said that Laura’s track over relatively lower populated areas of Louisiana as well as its Rmax - the distance from the storm’s centre to the location of maximum winds - was smaller and meant insured losses are expected to be lower than anticipated.
Fuelled by high sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, close to the Texas border, on August 27 as a strong Category 4 storm, bringing catastrophic winds, around 4.5 metres of storm surge, and widespread heavy rain across the Gulf region, with wind and rain continuing north into Arkansas.