Florence's Slow Movement a Worry for Insurers

September 14, 2018

By Madison Alworth

Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but the effects are still being felt. At this point, rescue efforts are already underway, and at least three people have died.

The storm will continue to bring rain to the Carolina regions over the next couple days, and that ー coupled with winds up to 100mph ー could bring huge devastation.

"It's really hard to tell the impact of a storm while it's still going on," said Mark Watson, CEO of Argo Group in an interview with Cheddar. "Because it's moving so slow and because the eye is so wide, we have sustained winds that are hitting for longer periods of time in this storm today than we see in most storms."

According to real estate data company CoreLogic, around 759,000 interviews could be in the storm's path and damage could reach up to $170 billion. Since that estimate, the storm has been downgraded, but the risk is still high.

"At the rate that this storm is going, I think we are going to see a fair amount of flooding continue over the next 24 hours. It's going to take a while for the businesses and homes that have already been struck to get going," said Watson.

And that tends to be a huge problem for businesses. According to Argo Group, 25 percent of businesses that experience natural disasters never reopen again.

For those in the path of Florence, Watson recommends assessing the damage as soon as possible. "The sooner you can get in contact with your insurance company, the sooner they can get to you physically and financially."

Florence began its path over land Friday morning, making landfall near Wilmington, NC. The slow-moving storm is expected to head inland as far as Kentucky before heading back out to the Atlantic.

For full interview click here.