RMS: Hurricane Rita’s Insured On-Shore, Off-Shore Losses Expected to be $4-$7 Billion

September 25, 2005

Risk Management Solutions (RMS), a provider of products and services for the management of catastrophe risk, has estimated that insured losses from Hurricane Rita are likely to range from $4 to $7 billion, based on current information on landfall location and wind speeds.

The $4 – $7 billion estimate is comprised of the following storm-related components:

* $3 – $5 billion onshore damage resulting from wind, storm surge, and
rainfall-related flood hazards. RMS’ modeling of wind impacts includes
both damage to buildings and notable tree fall damages. The estimate
also includes expected demand surge effects, resulting from the
inflation of material and labor costs in the region in the aftermath of
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

* $1 – $2 billion offshore platform damage and loss of production.

The preliminary estimate excludes the New Orleans flooding situation that erupted over the weekend.

Hurricane Rita made landfall as a category 3 storm on Saturday just after 2.30 a.m. CDT on the extreme southwest coast of Louisiana between Sabine Pass and Johnson’s Bayou. Hurricane force winds extended 85 miles from the center. An instrumented tower in Port Arthur run by the Florida Coastal Monitoring Program reported sustained winds of 91 mph with a gust to 116 mph as Rita came onshore. Widespread power outages have struck the entire region.

“Hurricane Rita is comparable to last year’s Charley in that its damage is spread across a low population density region of agricultural and fishing- related industries,” said Kyle Beatty, meteorologist, RMS. “There is also notable damage to offshore platforms, refineries and by-products industries of petroleum manufacturing.”

RMS’ aerial reconnaissance team began its two-day survey of the region on Sunday, and RMS will continue to monitor Rita’s impact throughout the week.

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