Hurricane Dorian Leaves Bahamas With Estimated $7 Billion in Damages

September 5, 2019

Hurricane Dorian inflicted an estimated $7 billion in total insured and uninsured losses on the Bahamas, according to catastrophe risk modeling firm Karen Clark & Company (KCC).

This includes building, contents, and business interruption exposures for commercial, residential and industrial properties. The estimate does not include infrastructure or auto losses.

KCC estimates that the total losses on New Providence will be about $1 billion; Grand Bahamas about $2 billion; and Abaco, $4 billion.

Losses would have been even worse had New Providence, the most populated island, felt the full impact of Dorian, the report notes.

The report says Dorian will “go into the history books” as the having produced the “most intense wind speeds over land and for the longest duration.”

This aerial photo provided by Medic Corps, shows the destruction brought by Hurricane Dorian on Man-o-War cay, Bahamas, Tuesday, Sept.3, 2019. Relief officials reported scenes of utter ruin in parts of the Bahamas and rushed to deal with an unfolding humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, the most powerful storm on record ever to hit the islands. (Medic Corps via AP)

Abaco felt Dorian at its most intense speeds up to 185 mph and for a prolonged period. KCC notes that winds of this magnitude cause major structural damage to wood frame and masonry buildings, which describes the building stock on the Bahamas. Abaco also experienced major storm surge flooding. Most residential and other buildings on Abaco suffered total damage, the report says.

KCC said it is not estimating what share of the total losses in the Bahamas might be insured at this time but that using past hurricanes as a guide, from 40% to 70% could be insured.

According to Bloomberg, analysts at UBS Group AG estimate the storm losses will be greater, as much as $10 billion in insured losses in the Bahamas, however that is lower than the bank’s initial forecast of $25 billion.

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