Filed Under:Markets, Commercial Lines

Karen Clark & Co.: Sandy's Wind Damage Alone to Cause $12B in Insured Losses

The woman who created the catastrophe modeling industry estimates insured wind losses due to Superstorm Sandy will be $12 billion. 

Karen Clark, who in 2007 founded Karen Clark & Co. after starting what is now AIR Worldwide in the mid-1980s, says New York was hit by the strongest sustained winds from Sandy. Wind gusts peaked at between 70 mph and 80 mph in places like JFK Airport and Long Island, N.Y. 

According to Karen Clark & Co.’s RiskInsight product—which allows insurers and reinsurers to estimate company-specific losses—there were no recorded sustained hurricane-force winds in New Jersey but because winds are not measured in all areas, it’s possible that the New Jersey coast did experience winds of this strength. A large majority of claims can be expected from New York and New Jersey. 

Residential insurers can expect more than 650,000 claims for wind damage, according to RiskInsight. Commercial insurers can expect in excess of 100,000 claims. Auto claims are not included in the analysis of insured wind losses. 

Catastrophe modelers Eqecat and AIR Worldwide have released insured loss estimates. Each have taken in account other losses from auto and business interruption claims, for instance. 

Eqecat says insured losses will total $10 billion to $20 billion, which could make Sandy the third-costliest U.S. storm ever for insurers—behind only 2005’s Katrina ($46.6 billion) and 1992’s Andrew ($22.9 billion). AIR says Sandy will cause between $7 billion and $15 billion in insured losses. 

Modeler Risk Management Solutions says too many unknowns remain to provide a reliable estimate.

See related stories: Disruption from Sandy Doubles Eqecat Insured-Loss Estimate to Up to $20B

RMS: Power Reconnection Major Variable in Sandy Insured Losses


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