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Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Katrina may be most costly hurricane in history

It's too early to tell, but analysts estimate that Katrina could inflict the most damage of any hurricane on record.  Estimates currently range from $9 billion to $26 billion.  By comparison, average annual insurance losses in Louisiana are $196 million, whereas in Florida they are $1.42 billion.  To put these numbers in perspective, according to the Insurance Information Instsitute, the following are the costliest catastrophes in U.S. history:

Event                                     Date insured                       (2004 dollars) 

Hurricane Andrew                    August 1992                       $20.9 billion 

9-11 attacks                           September 2001                  $20.1 billion* 

Northridge, Calif. earthquake    January 1994                       $15.9 billion 

Hurricane Charley                    August 2004                       $7.5 billion 

Hurricane Ivan                         September 2004                  $7.1 billion 

Hurricane Hugo                       September 1989                  $6.4 billion 

Hurricane Frances                   September 2004                  $4.6 billion 

Hurricane Jeanne                    September 2004                  $3.7 billion 

Hurricane Georges                  September 1998                  $3.4 billion 

Tropical Storm Allison             June 2001                           $3.1 billion

*Property only. Insured losses totaled $31.7 billion including liability and life insurance claims.

[Wayne Barnes]

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