Irene damages to cost insurers $7bn: Munich Re
Hurricane Irene, which lashed the United States east coast at the end of last month, will cost insurers some $7 billion (5.1 billion euros), the world's top reinsurer Munich Re said on Friday.
"According to Munich Re estimates, insured losses caused by Hurricane Irene in the Caribbean and the United States are in the region of US$ 7 bn," the company said in a statement.
The estimate is considerably higher than $1.8-$6 billion calculated by risk-assessment firms Eqecat and AirWorldwide.
Munich Re said that due to continued flooding in the northeastern US, there remains considerable uncertainty to the loss estimates.
The figure does not include damage covered under the US National Flood Insurance Program, it added.
Irene struck North Carolina as a category one hurricane on August 27, with intense rain triggering flooding across the northeastern United States.
Munich Re estimated that its own costs would be "in the low three-digit million euro range."
The reinsurer has already said 2011 has been the worst year in history in terms of losses due to natural catastrophe, but still expects to finish 2011 with a net profit, provided it doesn't a hit much over a billion euros in the second half of the year.
© 2011 AFP