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Hurricane costs for insurers could lead to higher premiums

UBS analysts studying the damage and expected damage of Hurricane Dorian predicted that insurers would have to raise their prices in Florida and elsewhere. Estimates for damages arising from natural catastrophes in 2019 reached $70 billion. Analysts anticipate that these high costs could diminish excess capital.

Meteorologists have labeled Dorian as the second-strongest Atlantic hurricane to date. The storm caused significant damage to the Bahamas, and UBS analysts increased their base estimate for total damages at $25 billion for the region. According to weather models, costs might reach as high as $40 billion. Damage costs at this level place solvency capital in jeopardy.

As the storm approached the southeastern United States, authorities ordered the evacuation of over one million people in coastal regions. Despite the high damage estimates, the hurricane might not inflict the record-breaking costs seen in 2017, when hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires produced insurance claims in excess of $135 billion.

To recover from disasters, homeowners and business people depend on payouts from their insurance policies that they pay for. In the aftermath of a storm, a policyholder might struggle to get information from an insurer about a claim. In some situations, legal advice might be appropriate, especially after an insurance claim denial or settlement offer that appears unreasonably low. An attorney could examine the insurance policy and inform the person about what the policy might cover. To pursue the person's goals, an attorney could contact the insurance company and urge it to meet its financial obligations to the policyholder. An attorney might manage the process of appealing a denied claim. Some hurricane insurance claims result in litigation. To prepare for court, an attorney may organize evidence of damage and cite the insurance contract clauses that authorize payment.

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