Hurricane Laura wallops areas with high mortgage delinquency rates

Wind surges hit over 150 mph in Louisiana, with damage estimated in the billions

Insurers will have to fork over billions of dollars to pay for damage that property owners incurred from Hurricane Laura last week.

Data and analytics provider CoreLogic estimated that residential and commercial property damage in Louisiana and Texas could come in anywhere between $8 billion and $12 billion, with the vast majority of the damage coming in Louisiana.

The storm, the most intense hurricane to make landfall in the northwestern gulf in more than 150 years, will also hurt homeowners’ ability to pay for their mortgage.

It was already a problem in several of the area’s metro areas. The delinquency rate in Beaumont, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana, were both at least two points above the national rate of 7.3%, CoreLogic noted in a report on Friday.  

Damage estimates came in lower from two other risk-modeling firms. AIR Worldwide said insured losses from the hurricane’s wind and storm surge will likely be between $4 billion and $8 billion. Karen Clark & Co. put its estimate at closer to $9 billion in the U.S. and Carribean. 

Damage from the Category 4 storm was most prevalent in Louisiana, with wind surges reaching 150 miles per hour. CoreLogic found that about 9,000 homeowners in Lake Charles experienced Category 3 conditions, while about 1,100 experienced Category 4.

“Residential buildings in and around Lake Charles saw significant damage to roofs,” Cagdas Kafali, senior vice president of research at AIR Worldwide, said in a statement. “Residential building envelopes were breached due to debris impacts, and the damage was further exacerbated in many cases due to the impacts of storm surge.”

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