RMS Estimates Up to $1.5 BN Insured Loss From Hurricane Dean

Aug 21, 2007, 01:00 ET from Risk Management Solutions

    NEWARK, Calif., Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Insured losses from Hurricane
 Dean, which today made landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, are
 likely to range between just US$ 0.75 billion and $1.5 billion, according
 to latest estimates by Risk Management Solutions, the world's leading
 provider of products and services for catastrophe risk management. Of this,
 only up to $300 million is expected to be from damage to the Mexican coast,
 with most of the remainder resulting from the storm's destruction in
     Hurricane Dean -- the first category 5 storm since 2005, with wind
 speeds of around 160 miles per hour -- struck the southeastern Yucatan
 Peninsular coast in a relatively sparsely populated area approximately 40
 miles northeast of Chetumal. Had the storm tracked 150 miles north it would
 have impacted the bustling tourist cities of Cancun and Cozumel, tripling
 the insured loss in Mexico.
     "Dean has taken an extraordinarily fortunate track, slipping between St
 Lucia and Martinique and striking a scarcely populated area of the Mexican
 coast. Given its intensity, the Caribbean and Winward Islands have faired
 relatively well," commented Dr. Claire Souch, senior director of model
 management at RMS. "Though Jamaica has taken a large hit, the track for a
 category 5 storm could hardly have been better planned to minimize the
     She added: "Dean's impact in Mexico will be similar to Hurricane
 Emily's in 2005, which was a category 4 storm and caused around $250
 million of insured loss. If Dean had made landfall in the north of the
 Yucatan Peninsular coast, we could have been looking at a near repeat of
 Hurricane Wilma, which devastated the area and resulted in insured losses
 of some $1.8 billion."
     Dean has remained a fairly small storm since it originated from a
 vigorous tropical wave that moved off Africa's west coast on 11 August,
 though it has intensified relatively quickly. As it travels across the
 Yucatan Peninsula it will decrease in intensity, but will likely maintain a
 category 1 to 2 hurricane status before emerging into the Bay of Campeche.
 Here, it is not expected to cause much damage, despite being where the
 majority of Mexico's oil is extracted.
     Forecasts suggest that it will not make landfall in the United States
 and will instead continue on a westward route and make a final landfall in
 a lowly populated region of Mexico on Wednesday night. Interaction with
 land should cause the storm to decay rapidly to a tropical storm.
     RMS will continue to monitor the situation and will update its estimate
 of insured losses as its analysis continues.
     About RMS
     Risk Management Solutions is the world's leading provider of products
 and services for catastrophe risk management. More than 400 leading
 insurers, reinsurers, trading companies, and other financial institutions
 rely on RMS models to quantify, manage, and transfer risk. Founded at
 Stanford University in 1988, RMS serves clients today from offices in the
 U.S., Bermuda, the U.K., Paris, Zurich, India, and Japan. For more
 information, visit our web site at www.rms.com.
     RMS and RiskLink are registered trademarks and the RMS logo is a
 trademark of Risk Management Solutions, Inc. All other trademarks are
 property of their respective owners.
     Editorial Contacts:
     Mark Prindle
     TorranceCo, New York
     1 212 691 5860
     Jackie Barber
     Risk Management Solutions, London
     +44 20 7444 7723

SOURCE Risk Management Solutions