Hurricanes and earthquakes made the third quarter the costliest on record, a new estimate shows.
Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team estimates the cost of hurricane Irma alone will soar into the tens of billions of dollars. Hurricane Maria caused billions more in damage.
Add to that major wildfires in the West and two large earthquakes in Mexico and insurers and others are looking at some major costs. The Insurance Journal reports:
“The month of September was exceptionally busy and marked by the most active month on record in the Atlantic Ocean for hurricanes based on combined strength and longevity,” said Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting’s director and meteorologist.
As a result, when September’s event impacts are combined with those from July and August, Bowen affirmed that “the third quarter of 2017 is expected to tally as one of the costliest quarters ever registered for natural disasters.”
…“The most prolific damage resulted from Hurricane Irma’s impact across the United States and the Caribbean, and Hurricane Maria’s track through the Caribbean,” he said.
“These events were poised to cause a heavy financial burden for federal governments and the insurance industry,” Bowen continued.
Delta Air Line Inc. (NYSE: DAL) reported Tuesday that the natural disaster negatively affected the company’s September performance by approximately $120 million. Overall, the Atlanta-based airline carried nearly 14.7 million passengers across its global network in September — down more than 2 percent from the almost 15 million at this time last year.
Delta was busy dealing with hurricanes Irma and Maria ravaging the Caribbean and southeastern United States during the month, with Irma “significantly” affecting operations, Delta said. Delta said it cancelled 2,200 flights from September 7-12 at airports in Florida, the Caribbean and Georgia, including the company’s hub, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
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