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USA - Re/insurance will cover almost a quarter of $17bn Florence losses

Private insurance and reinsurance is expected to cover $4.6 billion of the estimated $16.7 billion in economic losses caused by Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, according to state Governor Roy Cooper.

Initial estimates indicate at least $2.5 billion of potential federal aid and $0.8 billion will also go towards funding losses from Florence, which leaves a total gap of $8.8 billion that will need to be met by a combination of additional federal, private, and state aid, a report by North Carolina state found.

Economic losses from Florence were driven by a combination of both direct and indirect damages, with losses to businesses, housing and agriculture driving approximately 80% of the total loss estimate, according to the report.

The impact on businesses and non-profits in North Carolina is currently estimated at around $5.7 billion, with over 3,800 properties incurring water damage and more than 23,000 incurring wind damages.

Hurricane related business interruption losses were also significant and will likely have substantial knock-on effects to local economies and businesses, Governor Cooper noted.

Roughly 30% of households in North Carolina were affected by the storm, resulting in a preliminary impact estimate of $5.6 billion to single and multi-family dwellings, as well as Affordable, Temporary and Supporting Housing, with costs expected to grow further.

In terms of agriculture, Florence caused large scale loss of crops and livestock with an estimated impact of $2.4 billion, including $1.1 billion in crop, livestock and commodity losses and $117.7 million in farm buildings, equipment, and infrastructure losses, the report found.

Hurricane Florence brought historic levels of flooding to the Carolinas in September, with high winds, dangerous storm surge and record rainfall battering the states for six days due to the slow-moving nature of the storm.

It should be noted that this report only accounts for losses resulting from Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, and does not include the widespread damage caused in South Carolina and other areas.

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