Houston, Texas battered by severe storms with hurricane speed winds – Artemis.bm


Houston and the Harris County area of Texas has been battered by severe storms which have caused property and infrastructure damage across a wide area, including across the costly and well-insured downtown district where hurricane speed winds of over 80mph and hail smashed skyscraper windows.

Houston, Texas storm screengrab from social media.

Over 1 million customers were reported without power as the line of severe storms drove through Harris County.

There have been reports of large hail and some tornadoes, but the main culprit causing the property damage with this storm appears to have been straight-line winds.

Meteorologists are saying wind speeds surpassed 80 mph in the downtown district of Houston, Texas’ most populous city.

Imagery showing glass all over streets in the center of Houston, as skyscraper windows were smashed by wind and hail, suggest a relatively costly bill for those insurers with aggregations of risk in the region.

Four people have been reported killed by last nights storms in the Harris County area, while there are numerous images of downed powerlines, fallen trees, damaged homes and commercial buildings visible on social media today.

Houston’s mayor, John Whitmire, said that winds had neared 100 mph, while a number of tornadoes also affected the outskirts of his city.

Flood warnings are also in effect, after torrential rainfall from these storms and other severe weather events of recent weeks.

It all adds up to the latest outbreak of costly looking severe weather events for the United States.

The impacts of severe weather have been all too evident in some primary insurers results at the end of the first-quarter, but thes impacts have persisted into Q2 and could drive further catastrophe loss impacts.

With the higher reinsurance attachments now enforced, the impact to reinsurers and ILS funds from severe weather so far this year has been more limited.

But there are still some aggregate reinsurance arrangements that are exposed and deductible erosion will be rising in those cases.

Once again though, insured losses from this severe weather outbreak is likely to be largely retained by the primary insurance community. But, as the pressure from frequency losses continues to rise for the insurance industry, there are going to be calls for more reinsurance support and for innovative solutions to help insurers cap their financial impacts more effectively.

In recent weeks, the trends in tornadoes, severe hail and wind related warnings have been rising fast and now the trends are well-above the average, as you can see over on our dedicated page.

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