Published On: Mon, Jan 29th, 2018

Irma was the most expensive disaster for France

devastation 20170916 - HHMARIGOT – The French Insurance Federation has released a new account of damages caused by Hurricane Irma in Saint Martin and St. Barths. At the beginning of November, the insurance companies had received 16,400 claims, worth an estimated €830 million ($1,029,200,000). On Monday, the insurance companies announced a new total: 24,700 claims, worth a combined €1.83 billion ($2.23 billion). This makes Irma the most expensive natural disaster in French history.

The previous record stood at €1.74 billion ($2.16 billion) – the cost of the drought that hit France back in 2003.

According to the website soualigapost.com two-thirds of the claims are registered in Saint Martin. The value of the damages in Saint Martin is 15 percent higher than those in St. Barths – €990 million ($1,227,600,000) vs. €840 million ($1,046,600,000).

On the French side of the island, 95 percent of all buildings have sustained damages to different degrees. Insurance companies received 7,200 residential claims worth €430 million ($533.2 million).

In St. Barths, with a population 4.3 times below that of Saint Martin, insurance companies received 4,300 residential claims worth €500 million ($625 million).

The number of claims for damaged or destroyed cars in Saint Martin is 6,600; this high number is due to the fact that car-insurance is mandatory, while insuring homes is not.

The Insurance Federation said that 57 percent of the claims (9,290) have been settled.