CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, has released data analysis showing 758,657 homes in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are at potential risk of storm surge damage from Hurricane Florence based on its Category 4 status, with a reconstruction cost value (RCV) of approximately $170.2 billion. Current official projections show it is likely Hurricane Florence could exceed a Category 4 storm.
Richard Deakin, Head of Insurance Sales for CoreLogic NZ comments: “Our counterparts in the US plan to release new figures for Hurricane Florence-related activity before it reaches land, to reflect the storm’s updated path and intensity. 2018 is already shaping up as one for the record books, with wildfires blazing across the United States and hurricane season brewing in the Atlantic basin”.
“Whilst our thoughts are obviously very firmly focused on those facing the danger and potential aftermath of Hurricane Florence, it’s important to note that US weather events could impact the premiums that New Zealanders pay on their home insurance. As consumers, we rely on insurers to reduce our exposure to risk. Those same insurers buy protection for their portfolio against major events from reinsurers - who spread that risk across the globe. So although Hurricane Florence may seem far removed from NZ, we’re all insured by the same re-insurers. Any large natural disaster can have a knock-on effect as reinsurers look to recoup any losses across their global market. Potentially, we could see the impact in New Zealand with increased re-insurance costs”.
Hurricane Florence is a reminder of just how vulnerable we are to natural events and how climate change will potentially increase both frequency and severity of major weather events. When combined with sea level rises and increased storm surges, an increasingly large number of properties face greater risk than exists now.
Hurricane-driven storm surge can cause significant property damage when high winds and low pressure cause water to amass inside the storm, releasing a powerful rush over land when the hurricane moves onshore.
The following table shows the total number of properties at risk of storm surge for each of the five hurricane categories, as well as their accompanying RCV totals, for the Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) located along the North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia coasts that could potentially be affected.