Twenty-five years ago, Hurricane Andrew left such a violent impact on South Florida that the World Meteorological Organization retired the name so that no other hurricane will ever be named Andrew. One of only three hurricanes to be at Category 5 intensity upon its landfall in the U.S., Hurricane Andrew upended home, businesses and lives in the Miami suburbs. Because of Andrew, building codes and hurricane risk management changed dramatically.

A new report from Swiss Re titled “Hurricane Andrew: The 20 miles that saved Miami” postulates what the insured losses would be if a storm like Hurricane Andrew were to barrel through South Florida in 2017. Following an identical track and the same intensity as Andrew, a storm of that magnitude today would increase the insured losses from Andrew between $50 billion and $60 billion.

Hard hit

Hurricane Andrew caused $26.5 billion in economic damage (per 1992 USD). The storm destroyed more than 25,000 homes and damaged an additional 100,000. Roughly 60% of the storm's economic damage ($15.5 billion) was borne by the insurance industry.

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