Filed Under:Claims, Catastrophe & Restoration

Hurricane Matthew breaks records, Aon report shows

The storm remains the most intense October Atlantic hurricane to date

Many houses in Haiti in the seaside fishing community lost their roofs and others were completely destroyed following the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. (Source: AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Many houses in Haiti in the seaside fishing community lost their roofs and others were completely destroyed following the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. (Source: AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Hurricane Matthew made landfall over 6 months ago, but the insurance industry is still reeling from its numerous record-breaking effects.

The tempestuous cyclone had a significant global impact, reports Aon Benfield in its Hurricane Matthew Event Recap Report.

The storm led to the deaths of at least 604 people in the Atlantic Basin, including 53 in the United States. The official death toll in Haiti was reported to be 546, but unofficial tallies suggested it may be as high as 1,332. 

Total overall economic losses caused by Hurricane Matthew are estimated to be as high as $15 billion, with insured losses estimated at $4.5 billion. The vast majority of these losses were incurred in the United States, where economic losses exceeded $10 billion. The private insurance industry and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) paid out nearly $4 billion in claims.

Haiti, the Bahamas, Canada and Cuba also sustained heavy economic damage from the cycle. 

Related: Thousands evacuated as Cyclone Debbie barrels toward Australian coast

A record-breaking storm


At a minimum of $400 million, Hurricane Matthew became the costliest event ever recorded for the Bahamian insurance industry. Along with the costs, Hurricane Matthew shattered other records in a variety of categories, such as: 

        • Category 4/5 intensity for at least 114 consecutive hours; longest during October in the Atlantic on record.
        • Longest-lived Category 4/5 hurricane in the eastern Caribbean Sea on record.
        • First Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in Haiti since 1964 (Cleo).
        • First time on record for a major hurricane to strike Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas.
        • The first hurricane to make landfall north of the US state of Georgia in October since 1954 (Hazel).

Related: Using catastrophe modeling to predict risk scenarios

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