Damage Estimates Are Underway for Ivan Aftermath

Mobile, AL – Hurricane Ivan slammed the Alabama coast yesterday with high winds, heavy rains and a major storm surge. Damage estimates are now underway. Analysts say insured losses from Hurricane Ivan will be between three and 10 billion dollars. Earlier estimates that reached up to 20 billion dollars were lowered since the storm's eye didn't directly hit Mobile as originally projected. Ivan's reach into New Orleans was also minimal...reducing the cost projections. The new estimate comes from Fitch Ratings. The company notes that a portion of the damage will be from flooding. And Fitch officials say because flood insurance is offered by the federal government...that should soften the blow to commercial insurers. Fitch's managing director Michael Barry also says that reinsurance companies are likely to take a bigger hit from Ivan than they did from Hurricanes Charley and Frances because Alabama does not have a state program to help insurers pay claims.