The Real Deal Miami

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

The debt rating agency noted that Hurricane Andrew in 1992 was 48 times costlier
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.

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