Insurance losses from Hurricane Michael could reach $8 billion

(Bloomberg) -- Hurricane Michael, which ripped through Florida’s Panhandle region this week, may cost insurance companies about $8 billion, according to risk modeler Karen Clark & Co.

That figure includes wind and storm surge damage to homes, cars and industrial and commercial properties covered by private insurers, the company said in a report. KCC estimates that about half of those losses occurred in Bay and Gulf counties. The figure doesn’t factor in losses backed by the National Flood Insurance Program.

A home stands damaged after Hurricane Michael hit in Panama City, Florida, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. The storm made landfall Wednesday in the Florida Panhandle, where most of the damage occurred. The storm brought winds of 155 miles (249 kilometers) per hour, the fourth-strongest hurricane ever to reach the U.S. mainland. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Michael is the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland in decades, leaving thousands without power. Most of the damage came from strong wind speeds and the storm surge depths ranged from 9 to 14 feet along the most impacted area of the cost, KCC said. Storm surge caused $3.7 billion in total damages and about 10 percent of that figure is insured.