Best's Review


From the Editor’s Desk
Hurricane Andrew 30 Years Later: A Tale of Challenges and Success for Florida, Bermuda

Best’s Review examines the impact of Hurricane Andrew on its 30th anniversary. The issue also includes coverage of life insurance settlements and rankings of the largest U.S. cyber and largest Latin America insurers.
  • Patricia Vowinkel
  • August 2022

For the insurance industry, it was a storm to remember.

Hurricane Andrew made landfall near Homestead, Florida, on Aug. 24, 1992. With maximum sustained winds of 165 mph at landfall, the storm flattened homes and caused insured losses of more than $30 billion in 2021 dollars. Today, 30 years later, it still ranks as one of the most costly storms to hit the United States.

The storm forced some insurers out of business. It also marked a turning point in the use of technology to model catastrophes and estimate losses. And Bermuda, known mainly as a domicile for captives, began to emerge as a center for reinsurance.

August is Reinsurance Awareness Month. In “30 Years After Hurricane Andrew, Bermuda Reinsurers, Florida 'Joined at the Hip,'” Best's Review speaks with industry experts about the changes that came about in the storm's aftermath.

Hurricane Andrew is one of only a few hurricanes that have made landfall as a Category 5 storm, with winds of 157 mph or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Researchers are preparing for more storms with winds in excess of 200 mph.

In “FIU Extreme Events Director: Prototype Facility Will Test Forces of a 'Category 6' Hurricane,” Best's Review speaks with Richard Olson, the director of the Extreme Events Institute at Florida International University about FIU's efforts to design and prototype a facility to test winds of 200 mph, waves and storm surge.

Reinsurers are very familiar with losses from hurricanes and some have begun to adjust their business to reduce volatility from catastrophes. Reinsurers will have an opportunity to discuss their concerns next month at Rendez-Vous de Septembre in Monte Carlo, Monaco. AM Best is scheduled to hold a reinsurance market briefing at the conference.

The Vermont Captive Insurance Association's annual conference, meanwhile, takes place this month in Burlington, Vermont. AM Best TV will be there to cover the event. AM Best's Dan Ryan and Dan Teclaw are scheduled to participate.

In “Protected Cell Structures Fuel Captive Insurance Growth,” Best's Review examines the latest developments in the captive market.

The life insurance feature this month focuses on life settlements. In “Startup Founder Hopes to Help People Find 'Ferrari in the Garage' by Taking Life Settlements Mainstream,” Best's Review speaks with Lucas Siegel, the founder and chief executive officer of Harbor Life Settlements.

The August issue also includes Best's Rankings of the largest U.S. cyber insurers, the largest Latin America insurers, and the largest U.S. property/casualty insurers ranked by direct premiums written by line.

Patricia Vowinkel, Executive Editor,

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