Insurers count cost of Harvey and growing risk from climate change

A view of Hurricane Harvey from the International Space Station.                       Randy Bresnik  NASA

A view of Hurricane Harvey from the International Space Station. Randy Bresnik NASA

Analysts say Harvey's timing is good for insurers and insurance customers in one sense: Personal and commercial insurers have record levels of capital, thus the storm is unlikely to cause extensive damage to the industry's financial strength.

The early assessment of damage from Harvey, made while rain continued to pelt the fourth-largest city in the United States, came as a scientist from the world's largest reinsurer predicted that climate change is likely to result in more intense storms in the future.

Harvey, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm since making landfall, has struck only days before senior insurance executives meet in Monte Carlo to haggle over reinsurance renewals against the backdrop of insurance sector complaints that premiums are too low.

"Please note that total economic losses are expected to be higher than industry insurable loss estimates", AIR said. That figure did not include money that would be paid by NIFP, he added.

And when the waters finally recede, the extent of the damage will be revealed - from soggy and broken keepsakes to waterlogged cars and wrecked homes and businesses.

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Catastrophic flooding across southeast Texas from Harvey
Stay with ABC17 Stormtrack Weather as we continue to follow Tropical Storm Harvey and the historic flooding ongoing in Texas . He said the city is augmenting its resources with the help of state and federal agencies and opening additional shelters.

When hurricanes hit, many US homeowners suffer because they have no property insurance.

John Dickson, president of NFS Edge Insurance Agency told Reuters, "As of a few hours ago, our business and National Flood Services, the parent company for NFSS has seen over 2,000 claims on NFIP, the federal program".

Another 52% of properties that are not in a special flood hazard area, which means their owners aren't required to carry flood insurance if they received a federally issued mortgage, are at moderate or high risk.

Harvey, the most powerful hurricane to strike Texas in more than 50 years, first hit land on Friday and has killed at least two people.

Baylor University does not expect any disruption to campus operations this weekend from inclement weather due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Do you plan on filing an insurance claim - or are you unable to? At lunchtime in NY, shares in Travelers Companies Inc were down over 2.5 per cent, Allstate Corp had fallen over 1.5 per cent, and Progressive Corp was down 2.5 per cent.

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