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NEWARK, CA – September 23, 2021RMS®, the world’s leading catastrophe risk solutions company, estimates that the total U.S. insured losses from Hurricane Nicholas to be between US$1.1 and US$2.2 billion. This estimate represents insured losses associated with wind, storm surge, and precipitation-induced flooding, including losses to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Nicholas made landfall on September 14, 2021 near Sargent Beach, Texas as a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 km/h). The storm brought hurricane-force winds, prolonged heavy rainfall to the central Gulf Coast, including many areas in southern Louisiana still recovering from Hurricane Ida, as well as Hurricanes’ Laura and Delta (2020).

Total insured loss estimates for Hurricane Nicholas (US$ billions):

Wind + Surge Private Inland Flood NFIP Total
0.7 – 1.4 0.2 – 0.3 0.2 – 0.5 1.1 – 2.2

RMS estimates US$700 million to US$1.4 billion in privately insured wind and storm surge losses based on analysis of ensemble footprints in Version 21 of the RMS North Atlantic Hurricane Models. RMS ensemble footprints are reconstructions of Nicholas’ hazard that capture the uncertainties surrounding observed winds and storm surge. The precipitation-induced inland flooding losses were generated using footprints from the RMS U.S. Inland Flood HD Model.

RMS modelers developed and validated the wind, storm surge, and inland flood reconstructions and corresponding loss estimates using publicly available observations, including wind stations, rivers water level gauge data, and web reconnaissance.

“A notable impact from this event is the rainfalls, especially in Louisiana, where many towns and cities are still in the early stages of recovery after Hurricane Ida. RMS event response teams estimate roughly 40 percent of postal codes in Louisiana that were impacted by flooding in Nicholas were also impacted by flooding from Ida a few weeks earlier. We expect the overlapping nature of these two storms to further amplify losses, including the risk of rainfall infiltration, and to prolong the claims settlement process,” says Jeff Waters, Senior Product Manager, RMS North Atlantic Hurricane Models.

The estimate also includes US$200 – $500 million in losses for NFIP in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico region. NFIP losses were derived using RMS’ view of NFIP exposure based on 2019 policy-in-force data published by FEMA, Version 21 North Atlantic Hurricane Models, and the U.S. Inland Flood HD Model.

Losses reflect property damage and business interruption to residential, commercial, industrial, and automobile lines of business, and considers sources of post-event loss amplification (PLA). RMS expects the majority of wind and storm surge losses to come from Texas, and the majority of the NFIP and insured flood losses to come from Louisiana.

Hurricane Nicholas was the fourteenth named storm of the 2021 North Atlantic hurricane season and the sixth hurricane. It was the second hurricane to make landfall this season.

RMS industry loss estimates for landfalling hurricanes are comprehensive, reflecting modeled and non-modeled impacts from all major drivers of damage, including wind, storm surge, and inland flooding.

END

The technology and data used in providing this information is based on the scientific data, mathematical and empirical models, and encoded experience of scientists and specialists. As with any model of physical systems, particularly those with low frequencies of occurrence and potentially high severity outcomes, the actual losses from catastrophic events may differ from the results of simulation analyses.

RMS SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL RESPONSIBILITIES, OBLIGATIONS AND LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO ANY DECISIONS OR ADVICE MADE OR GIVEN AS A RESULT OF THIS INFORMATION OR USE THEREOF, INCLUDING ALL WARRANTIES, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, WARRANTIES OF NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO EVENT SHALL RMS (OR ITS PARENT, SUBSIDIARY, OR OTHER AFFILIATED COMPANIES) BE LIABLE FOR DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES WITH RESPECT TO ANY DECISIONS OR ADVICE MADE OR GIVEN AS A RESULT OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS INFORMATION OR USE THEREOF.

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About RMS

Risk Management Solutions, Inc. (RMS) a Moody's Analytics company, shapes the world's view of risk for insurers, reinsurers, financial services organizations, and the public sector. We empower organizations to evaluate and manage global risk from natural and man-made catastrophes, including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, climate change, cyber, and pandemics. RMS models underlie the nearly US$2 trillion Property & Casualty industry and many insurers, reinsurers, and brokers around the world rely on RMS model science.

RMS helped pioneer the catastrophe risk industry, and continues to lead in innovation by offering unmatched science, technology, and 300+ catastrophe risk models. Leaders across multiple industries can address the risks of tomorrow with the RMS Intelligent Risk Platform™, the only open cloud with collaborative applications and unified analytics that can power risk management excellence across organizations and industries. 

Further supporting the industry's transition to modern risk management, RMS spearheaded the Risk Data Open Standard (RDOS), a modern, open-standard data schema designed to be an extensible and flexible asset within modeling/analysis systems.

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

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

RMS is a subsidiary of Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: MCO) and operates as part of the Moody’s Analytics business segment. Moody’s Analytics is operationally and legally separate from the Moody’s Investors Service credit rating agency.

Media Contacts

Matthew Longbottom

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

Haggie Partners

PR Lead, Americas
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