Hurricane Sandy Update: Almost $88 Billion at Risk, Insurers Ready Claims Assistance
While still waiting for the storm's highest point of impact, insurers announce assistance information.
Insurance Networking News, October 29, 2012
According to the National Hurricane Center 06:00 UTC advisory today, the center of Hurricane Sandy was located approximately 280 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and 425 miles south-southeast of New York City. Sandy is currently a weak Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.
Sandy is expected to make landfall in the United States along the southern/central New Jersey coastline in around 24 hours time, early on Tuesday, as a Category 1 extra-tropical cyclone, having transitioned just prior to landfall, according to RMS.
While the highest point of impact is still about 36 hours away, water levels along the East Coast have already begun to rise, according to EQECAT. High storm surge levels, from 6 to 11 feet, are possible in some areas. Sandy's wind field is expansive, with hurricane force winds extending outward up to 175 miles southwest of the center, and tropical storm force winds extending out 520 miles from the center. Because of this very large wind field, tropical storm conditions are already occurring over coastal North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. Winds of hurricane force could reach the Mid-Atlantic states, including Long Island, by late today. EQECAT is estimating $10-20 billion in economic damages and $5-10 billion in insured losses.
CoreLogic, provider of information, analytics and business services, released data showing potential exposure to residential property damage from hurricane-driven storm-surge flooding. The data shows nearly 284,000 total residential properties valued at almost $88 billion at risk for potential storm-surge damage among the coastal Mid-Atlantic states, assuming the storm hits the coast as a Category 1 hurricane. Within that region, more than 238,000 total properties valued at nearly $75 billion stand at risk in eight major metro areas from Virginia to New England.
Approximate total value of residential properties by coastal Mid-Atlantic states, according to CoreLogic:
Massachusetts — $7.8 billion
Pennsylvania — $24.1 million
New York — $35.1 billion
New Jersey — $22.6 billion
Delaware — $2 billion
Maryland — $9 billion
Virginia — $11.3 billion
A number of insurers, including Chartis, GEICO and Liberty Mutual have issued assistance announcements, containing 24-hour contact information. CNA insurance companies issued an announcement that a Catastrophe Operations Center within its Nashville, Tenn., office is “fully operational in preparation for handling anticipated claims from Hurricane Sandy. All Hurricane Sandy losses should be reported through Innovation First Notice.”
On Saturday, USAA offered tips for its members to prepare mobile devices for Hurricane Sandy. “Extreme weather can disrupt communication channels, making mobile devices essential tools to keep in touch with family as well as with response and recovery efforts." USAA offered tips, such as set up emergency text alerts, create a texting phone tree and take advantage of insurance apps.
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