For the insurance industry this year has already been the most expensive for natural disasters in the history of the world, mostly because of the costs of the Japanese earthquake in March.
Hurricane Irene did cause substantial property damage but catastrophe modelling companies say it will be nowhere near as bad as the 10 billion dollar event that had been feared.
Initial calculations are for a three billion dollar loss to insurers. Plus the costs from over a third of a million people having to be evacuated and 9,000 cancelled airline flights.
Analyst Robert Halver in Frankfurt said: “Irene is a bad thing, no doubt about, but I guess it’s not a big issue that we should have a focus on that. I guess business life will go on.”
This is just the latest instalment of extreme weather for the US. It is estimated that so far this year losses from floods, tornadoes and heat waves have topped 35 billion dollars (24 billion euros).