Hurricane proved less destructivd than Katrina as it swept over New Oeleans.

Fears that hurricane Gustav could be another Katrina proved misplaced, as Gustav turned out to be both smaller and weaker than Katrina at landfall, writes David Sandham. Estimates of the insured onshore losses ranged between $2bn and $10bn. Modelling firms began downgrading their predictions as the strength of the hurricane weakened. EQECAT had earlier predicted onshore losses of as much as £16bn, but it lowered this to between £3bn and £5.6bn. Offshore insured losses were estimated to be as much as £2bn.

Hurricane Gustav made landfall on Monday about 70 miles west of New Orleans as a strong category 2 hurricane, weakening from a CAT 3 hurricane prior to landfall. While this meant that property wind damage should be less than expected, the fact that it reached category 3 offshore influenced the tidal surge. Hurricane Katrina cost the insurance industry £30bn. Meanwhile as Insurance Times went to press hurricane Hanna had weakened to a tropical storm off of the coast of the Bahamas. For more hurricane news see www.insurancetimes.co.uk and the website of sister magazine www.globalresinsurance.co.uk.