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How does Matthew compare to other past hurricanes like Andrew, Hugo, and Katrina?

John "David" McCullough of Central Adjustment Company and four others answer this month's question.

November 28, 2016 Photo

“Matthew will be the most taxing insurance claims event ever from the standpoint of service area—claims extend from South Florida to North Carolina. The industry will be stretched because claims involve both wind and flood. The sheer numbers will be overwhelming.” 

1. JOHN “DAVID” MCCULLOUGH, President, Central Adjustment Company. CLM Fellow since 2014.

“Matthew’s eye remained mainly offshore, compared to other major hurricanes such as Andrew, Hugo, and Katrina that were marked by impactful landfalls. The level of emergency management and preparedness has also greatly improved over the 11+ years between Florida storms.”

2. DAVID REPINSKI, Chief Executive Officer, Americas, Cunningham Lindsey. CLM Fellow since 2014.

“Early on, Matthew seemed like it could become an encore of Hurricanes Katrina and Andrew. As it turned out, loss severity related to Matthew was far less than either of them, even though the impacted area was much larger.”

3. HARSHA V. AGADI, President and CEO, Crawford & Company. 

“Hurricane Matthew covered a vast area. The impact of wind damage and flying debris appears to be less than previous hurricanes. However, the storm surge and flooding did have a major impact. As a result, many municipalities will review their floodplain mapping based on this event.” 

4. DAN GRECCO. President, Grecco Construction Consultants. CLM Fellow since 2012.

“Matthew’s high-velocity winds remained offshore, thereby minimizing wind damage normally seen from storms like these.  Structural, electrical, and mechanical losses resulted from Matthew, but missing highly populated areas like Miami allows additional resources to investigate flood damage that can accompany engineering issues.”

5. RON HOLT, CEO, EFI Global Inc. CLM Fellow since 2012.

$1 Trillion

The value of property in the path of Hurricane Matthew.
Source: Bloomberg


Number of peak records broken for water levels in North Carolina. 

Source: U.S. Geological Survey

$6.8 Billion

Estimated amount of U.S. insured losses caused by Hurricane Matthew.

Source: AIR Worldwide


The year in which the last strongest storm to hit the U.S. occurred.
Source: AccuWeather


Number of people involved in evacuation to get out of Matthew’s path.  

Source: The Telegraph


Death toll in Haiti from Hurricane Matthew. 

Source: weather.com

About The Authors
Bevrlee J. Lips

Bevrlee J. Lips was managing editor of Claims Management magazine (now CLM Magazine) from January 2012 until March 2017.  blips@claimsadvisor.com

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