Hurricane Isaac Potential Property Damage Estimated at $39 Billion

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The announced today that Hurricane Isaac is poised to strike the U.S. economy with an estimated $39 billion in possible residence damages.

Isaac, now a Category 1 hurricane that could become a Category 2, will have some effect on the U.S. economy even if it does not make a direct hit on a major city.

Damage by Hurricane Isaac

Damage estimates to residences have risen as high as $39 billion, which will trigger large insurance claims. All of the oil platforms in the eastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico have been evacuated, which almost certainly will drive the price of oil higher temporarily. WTI crude prices have moved up by 1% today to more than $97. Business activity and tourism will be hurt along the beaches from Florida to Texas.

And perhaps more important is that Isaac could move across New Orleans, which never has completely recovered from Hurricane Katrina. The effect could only be a small fraction of a percent of gross domestic product, but in a rough economy, every tiny fraction of harm counts.

Several insurers have geared up to prepare themselves for hurricane Isaac’s damages including Citizens Property Insurance. Citizens Property Insurance has announced that several teams of insurance adjusters have begun preparations for the arrival of Isaac. These adjusters will be on hand to assess any damage that the storm causes and provide assistance to those affected by it. Citizens officials expect to see as many as 50,000 claims generated by hurricane Isaac if it remains classified as a tropical storm. Numerous websites have also urged property owners to make sure to take digital photos of the damage to expedite the insurance claims process.

News coverage is urging everyone to check their insurance policies. Kenneth Morgan with Morgan Insurance Agency in Mobile said, “We have already received some calls where some of our carriers have already pulled binding authority from us, but we still have a few other (underwriters) available.” Here at JDi Data we have safely made it through Tropical Storm Isaac and are now on the tail end of the effects here in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Wishing everyone on the Gulf Coast the best. The best way to get through safely is to be prepared.