KCC estimates insured losses of nearly $150 million from tropical storm Cristobal

(Reuters) – Catastrophe modeling firm Karen Clark & Company (KCC) said on Wednesday it expects insured losses of close to $150 million from tropical storm Cristobal.

Cristobal is the third named storm to form and impact the United States coast during this hurricane season. The center of the storm made landfall along the coast of southeast Louisiana on Sunday.

KCC said its estimates include privately insured wind and storm surge damage to residential, commercial and industrial properties as well as automobiles.

However, it does not include losses from the National Flood Insurance Program, a government undertaking that is the only source of flood insurance for most Americans, the firm said.

No major structural damage is expected from Cristobal’s maximum sustained winds, but power outages have been reported in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, KCC said, adding that restoring power has been complicated by restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Louisiana, drones were employed to help utility worker deployment, while crews were limited by social distancing restrictions due to the pandemic, KCC said.

The official start of the Atlantic hurricane season in June could signal more steep losses for insurers and reinsurers, already battered by the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their underwriting and investment positions.

Meteorologists are forecasting that the Atlantic 2020 hurricane season, which officially finishes on Nov. 30, will be above average.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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