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Hurricane Irma could cost insurers ?150bn, analyst warns

CITY insurers are braced this weekend for a ?150bn bill from Hurricane Irma as the catastrophic storm tears through the Caribbean and slams into Florida.
The sector is still counting the cost of losses from the devastating Texas flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, but analysts warned Irma could deal a much heavier blow.
The category 5 hurricane is one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, with the United Nations estimating last week that up to 37m people could be affected and emergency chiefs warning its impact would be devastating for the US.
Barrie Cornes, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, believes the sector could be expected to pick up a tab of between ?100bn and ?150bn if Irma remains a category 4 or 5 storm and envelops the Florida panhandle.
Lloyds of London insurers already face tens of millions of pounds in losses on Hurricane Harvey. Their exposure to Irma is likely to be higher but could be capped, Mr Cornes said.
Assuming that the damage is windstorm then I would expect the net retentions for the listed insurers to be at around ?200m or below, but there remains much uncertainty, he said.
Hurricane Irma could cost insurers ?150bn, analyst warns

A vehicle stands outside an apartment complex in floodwaters due to Hurricane Harvey in Spring, Texas, U.S., on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017.
His prediction echoes estimates from analysts at Morgan Stanley, which last week warned that fears over Irma were weighing on insurance stocks.
Investors fear that a major hurricane hitting the Miami area could lead to $100bn-plus industry losses, Kai Pan, an equity analyst, said.
Hurricane Irma | Key articles
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