6D.4 Insurance Claims Illustrate Damage Footprint and Severity for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

Tuesday, 17 April 2018: 11:15 AM
Heritage Ballroom (Sawgrass Marriott)
William Ramstrom, Verisk Insurance Solutions, Lexington, MA; and K. Ramanathan

Insurance claims data provides a highly detailed view of the geographic patterns of damage in hurricanes. We will provide analytics that correlate claims percentages and costs with maximum winds and rainfall during the landfalls of Harvey and Irma. Industry-wide claims data in the aftermath of both hurricanes show that damage rates were much higher in areas with less strict building codes. We will show that coastal areas of Florida and Texas with stronger building codes experienced lower claims percentages than inland areas that experienced similar wind speeds, based on access to homeowners’ insurance claims. Detailed wind analysis based on dynamical models, local surface properties, and observations captures the maximum sustained and gusts experienced at each location, as well as the duration of damaging winds. We will discuss the pattern of wind claims activity in Texas from Harvey, and Florida into Georgia from Irma, and how damage rates are modulated by the maximum winds, wind duration, and local building codes.
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