logo image
  • NEWARK, Calif. - September 09, 2017 -
  • RMS has estimated that the insured loss from Hurricane Harvey will be between $25 to $35 billion, with an upper bound of $40 billion. This RMS estimate represents the insured losses associated with wind, storm surge, and inland flood damage, across Texas and Louisiana only. The estimate also includes gross losses accrued to the National Flood Insurance Program of $7 to $10 billion.

RMS Best Industry Loss Estimate Ranges by Peril and U.S. State, in US$ Billions

RegionWindStorm SurgeInland FloodTotal

Texas2 - 3< 0.120 - 3522 - 38

Louisiana--1 - 21 - 2

Total2 - 3< 0.121 - 3722 - 40


“Although Harvey was a category four storm at landfall, the point of landfall along the coastline of Texas is less densely populated than other coastline areas, which has limited the magnitude of the overall total wind and surge related losses,” said Michael Young, head of U.S. climates modeling at RMS.

While wind and storm surge losses appear modest for a landfalling category four hurricane, RMS expects that significant losses associated with rainfall-driven flooding will drive total economic and insured losses in excess of those experienced from Superstorm Sandy in 2012. 

Major Hurricane Harvey caused catastrophic and unprecedented inland flooding across southeast Texas and parts of southern Louisiana. Most of the Houston metropolitan area (pop. ~6.3 million) was significantly impacted. Flood depths in the Houston metropolitan area reached up to 12ft (3.66m) in some places.

Hurricane Harvey

“The behavior of the storm is almost without precedent, and Harvey has already broken all U.S. records for tropical cyclone-driven extreme rainfall. Harvey's observed cumulative rainfall of 51in (129cm) far exceeds that of Allison in 200, Claudette in 1979, or Amelia in 1978, not only in volume but also in regional extent," said Young.

RMS ran the upcoming RMS U.S. Inland Flood HD Model in real-time to simulate the precipitation, run-off, and pluvial and fluvial flows across the Texas and Louisiana domain, to create a series of high-fidelity flood maps for clients to use to estimate expected flood losses.

The model was used to evaluate all sources of coastal and inland flood hazard, including: tropical and non-tropical cyclone precipitation, major and minor river fluvial flooding, and pluvial flooding – flash flooding and surface flooding.

The model’s ability to examine both defended and un-defended flood situations enabled RMS to assess where local levees may be overwhelmed. For Harvey, RMS considers that many of the local flood defenses were exceeded in the Houston area where the rainfall was most intense.

The RMS estimate is based on analysis of RMS ensemble footprints, hazard reconstructions of Harvey’s wind field and storm surge, using version 17.0 of the RMS North Atlantic Hurricane Models and RMS U.S. Inland Flood Model.

About RMS

RMS solutions help insurers, financial markets, corporations, and public agencies evaluate and manage catastrophe risks throughout the world. RMS has over 1,200 employees across 13 offices in the US, London, Bermuda, Zurich, India, China, Japan, Singapore and Australia - our products and models covering six continents. 

We lead an industry that we helped to pioneer—catastrophe risk modeling—and are delivering models, data, and risk management solutions on the RMS(one)® platform to transform the world’s understanding and quantification of risk through open, real-time exposure and risk management.

Insurers, reinsurers, trading companies, and other financial institutions trust RMS solutions to better understand and manage the risks of natural and human-made catastrophes, including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, terrorism, and pandemics.

Visit RMS.com to learn more and follow @RMS.

Related Resources
July 07, 2020
Covid-19 Can Be Springboard to Understanding Clash Risk: RMS CEO

June 19, 2020
The COVID Catastrophe

June 19, 2020
A Model Approach

About RMS

Risk Management Solutions, Inc. (RMS) helps insurers, financial markets, corporations, and public agencies evaluate and manage global risk from natural and man-made catastrophes, including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, climate change, cyber, and pandemics.

RMS leads the catastrophe risk industry that we helped to pioneer by marrying data and advanced model science with leading-edge technology. Leaders across multiple industries can address the risks of tomorrow through RMS Risk Intelligence™, our open, real-time exposure and risk management platform, enabling them to tap into RMS HD models, rich data layers, intuitive applications and APIs that simply integrate into existing enterprise systems.

RMS is a trusted solutions partner enabling effective risk management for better business decision making across underwriting, risk selection, mitigation, and portfolio management.

Visit RMS.com to learn more and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Media Contacts

Matthew Longbottom

PR Lead, EU and APAC
+44 20 7444 7706 prteam@rms.com

Devonne Cusi

PR Lead, Americas
+1 551 226 1604 prteam@rms.com
cta image

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

close button
Video Title

Thank You

You’ll be contacted by an RMS specialist shortly.

RMS.com uses cookies to improve your experience and analyze site usage. Read Cookie Policy or click I understand.