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CoreLogic estimates Laura losses at $8bn to $12bn

News: Hurricane Laura

CoreLogic has estimated insured losses from Hurricane Laura in Texas and Louisiana at between $8bn and $12bn.

The estimate comprises residential and commercial wind and storm surge losses, with insured storm surge losses estimated to contribute less than $0.5bn to this total.

Texas losses are also expected to remain under $0.5bn.

A total of 74,655 residential properties were affected by the storm in Lake Charles, Louisiana (see table), which was the only area CoreLogic estimated was subject to major hurricane force winds.

Some 645,298 properties experienced tropical storm or sub-tropical storm force winds elsewhere in Louisiana.

In Beaumont-Port Arthur in Texas, 151,279 properties felt the brunt of tropical storm winds, and elsewhere in the state 26,932 buildings were impacted by storm winds.

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CoreLogic also noted that in addition to property damage, the ability to make loan payments can become compromised following a hurricane.

Mortgage delinquency rates in the area hit by the storm were already above the national rate, according to CoreLogic data.

As Hurricane Laura made landfall the storm’s center struck a more sparsely populated area of the Louisiana and Texas coast, the modeler said.

“There is never a good place for a hurricane to make landfall but this was the best possible outcome because it spared the major population centers of Houston and New Orleans,” said Curtis McDonald, meteorologist and senior product manager at CoreLogic. 

The storm is not expected to pose an extreme flood risk as it moves east across the country.

Wind and storm surge are likely to be the primary causes of property loss initially while tornado activity could occur as the storm progresses, CoreLogic continued.

Hurricane Laura weakened as it moved over land, which safeguarded some metropolitan areas from the full impact of a landfalling Category 4 hurricane, it noted.

CoreLogic’s range of Laura losses is broadly in line with other estimates in the market, which have settled around the $10bn mark, excluding National Flood Insurance Program claims.

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