Fitch: Hermine’s impact on insurers will be ‘modest’

Hurricane Hermine
Hurricane Hermine

Debt ratings agency Fitch Ratings forecast that damage done by Hurricane Hermine will have a “modest” effect on property insurers and the market for catastrophe bonds.

Fitch said an estimate of insured losses approaching $500 million would depress the third-quarter earnings of some property insurers but would be manageable for the industry.

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Hurricane Andrew in 1992, by contrast, left insured property losses in Florida totaling $24 billion. And the hurricanes that hit Florida in 2004 and 2005 are among the 10 biggest ever in insured losses.

Five companies with the largest exposure to a Florida hurricane include state-run Citizens Property Insurance, Federated National Insurance, State Farm Mutual, Tower Hill and Universal Insurance Holdings Group.

Fitch also reported that since the state’s last hurricane, Wilma in 2005, state-run Citizens Property Insurance has become a smaller factor in the market for homeowners’ insurance in Florida, where smaller private companies now underwriter 60 percent of the policies. [Tampa Bay Times]Mike Seemuth