Monday, September 11, 2017

Hurricane Irma And Cat Bonds

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by Hurricane Irma. Fortunately, Irma weakened as it approached the U.S. and property damage estimates dropped from $200 billion to $49 billion, although the final tally won't be known for months. As you can imagine, large natural disasters such as this affect financial markets. Last week, the stock market fell and the dollar weakened based on the dire projections, although both have rebounded today, in part because of the storm's weakening. However, no financial instrument was hit as hard as cat bonds based on hurricane damage in Florida. In fact, one cat bond that was recently issued by Heritage Insurance Holdings fell to 50 cents on the dollar. The cat bond market has reached $90 billion, and almost one-half is tied to Florida hurricane damage.