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Hurricane Matthew leaving behind at least $4 billion in damages: CoreLogic

People look out at the flooded street in front of their home as Hurricane Matthew passes through the area on October 7, 2016 in St Augustine, Florida.
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Hurricane Matthew, the Category 4 storm that cut a deadly swath across the Caribbean and sent Florida residents scrambling to evacuate, has left behind $4 billion and $6 billion worth of damages, according to one estimate.

An analysis by data analysis firm CoreLogic released on Saturday shows high winds and flooding associated with Matthew inflicted vast damage on residential and commercial properties. At one point, National Hurricane Center data estimated the hurricane's winds were well above 100 miles per hour.

CoreLogic's estimates do not include "insured losses related to additional flooding, business interruption or contents. Of this $4-6 billion, 90 percent of the insurance claims are expected to be related to wind and 10 percent is expected to be related to storm surge," the firm said.

For context, that amount is far less than the aftermath of Hurricane's Katrina and Sandy, but at 90 percent, the percentage of wind damage associated with Matthew eclipsed both prior hurricanes.

$200B coastal home damage possible

After most major hurricanes, insurance companies tend to come under heavy scrutiny, given the sheer number of claims associated with water and storm surge damage. In a report this week, S&P Global ratings said Matthew "represents a real test of their exposure."

The sector is adequately capitalized, but "if the magnitude of losses following Hurricane Matthew matches that of a 1-in-100-year loss event, some peer groups, and even specific reinsurers, will be harder hit."

S&P estimates that up to 5 of the 21 reinsurers it rates would likely report a loss and see a drop in capital, depending on how catastrophic Matthew's impact was.

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