Hurricane Maria has devastated Puerto Rico and upended the lives of millions of Americans. It’s also left billions of dollars in damage that will wreak havoc on the island’s economy, according to initial estimates.
AIR Worldwide, which calculates the financial toll of natural disasters, predicts that losses in the Caribbean covered by insurance will be between $40 billion and $85 billion. More than 85% of those losses are in Puerto Rico, the firm said.
That number doesn’t include damage to property that isn’t insured, and excludes flood damage covered by the National Flood Insurance Program.
Puerto Rico was in an economic crisis before it was slammed by Maria as a Category 4 storm. The island, which remains almost entirely without electricity, is already in the midst of an 11-year recession. It filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history back in May.
Estimates from Chuck Watson, an analyst with the disaster research group Enki Research, were slightly more conservative.
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