AIR: Dean Jamaica Losses Won’t Exceed $1.5 Billion

August 21, 2007

AIR Worldwide has issued preliminary estimates indicating that insured losses in Jamaica from Hurricane Dean will not exceed $1.5 billion. The figure “covers insured losses to property, contents, business interruption and additional living expenses for onshore properties,” said the bulletin.

In his analysis of the hurricane AIR’s Vice President of Research and Modeling, Glen Daraskevich, noted that the eye of the storm had passed south of the island – whereas Gilbert, a category five hurricane, hit Jamaica head on in 1988. Dean, a category four storm at the time (it’s since become category five) spared the capital from a direct hit.

He indicated that the “strongest winds were felt on Portland Point, Jamaica’s southernmost point, but this is a sparsely populated stretch of the coast.” Dean nonetheless downed trees and blew off roofs in Kingston, and airborne debris knocked out windows. Heavy rains caused coastal flooding and mudslides. “Still, it could have been a lot worse,” Daraskevich added.

Had the hurricane hit Kingston, losses “would have been significantly higher, since about two thirds of the insured value of Jamaica’s properties is located in the parishes around Kingston,” he concluded.

Source: AIR Worldwide

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