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With post-tropical storm Hermine no longer a threat, insurers are busy handling claims from wind, flood, and storm surge damages across the eastern seaboard. An early estimate from catastrophe loss estimation firm Karen Clark & Company (KCC), predicts insured losses likely to approach $500 million, with total economic damages close to $1 billion. Three deaths were attributed to the storm.
Hermine made waves, so to speak, as the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. The category 1 hurricane slammed into the state early Friday before weakening into a tropical cyclone and slowly heading up the coast, where rough surf kept many beaches closed over Labor Day weekend.
Most of Florida experienced a state of emergency and officials were concerned that stagnant water would help breed mosquitoes that could spread the Zika virus. In the town of Cedar Key, waters rose more than 9.5 feet, among the highest surges ever seen, according to the National Weather Service.
In addition to dropping heavy rain and wind on parts of Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia, the storm caused power outages, coastal flooding, and beach erosion. By Sunday, the storm had weakened further into a post-tropical cyclone, settling off the coast of New York and New England and eventually dissipating.
As we near the halfway mark for hurricane season, it’s important to note that the damage could have been much worse. Responding to Hermine claims is a top priority, but it’s also a good time to evaluate your portfolio performance and to determine if your event response processes were as efficient as they could have been.
Like most hurricanes, Hermine was a dynamic event, strengthening and weakening over its life. Now that the storm is over, SpatialKey can help you visualize the impact to your portfolio, reevaluate underwriting guidelines, and even perform “what if” analysis such as considering if Hermine, had made landfall in St. Petersburg and exited through Jacksonville instead. Armed with this knowledge, you can adjust your strategies to ensure you are writing a healthy book of business.
You can also understand how to improve your response efforts for the next big storm by comparing your initial claims estimates from tracking the hurricane’s path and actual claims from the event’s final footprint.
With the National Hurricane Center keeping a close eye on tropical storms that could develop into the next named storm, you’ll need to prepare for all possible outcomes. Hurricane paths and footprints are automatically pulled into SpatialKey as soon as they are available, giving you the information you need to take action.
To learn more about how SpatialKey can help you apply the lessons from Hermine and other hurricanes for faster claims response and stronger portfolio performance, contact us today.