Hurricane Michael, barreling toward Florida with winds as high as 110 mph, is threatening homes on the state's Gulf Coast worth as much as $13.4 billion, according to property analytics service CoreLogic.
The storm, about 335 miles south of Panama City, is moving north at about 12 miles per hour and likely to make landfall on Wednesday, then sweep northeast through the southern U.S., according to the National Hurricane Center.
Michael is likely to strengthen further before striking the Panhandle, the agency warned Tuesday. If it reaches Category 3 strength, with winds of 111 to 129 miles per hour, by that time, a storm surge of as much as 12 feet might destroy 57,000 homes in a worst-case scenario, CoreLogic predicted in a report.
['Monstrous' Hurricane Michael barrels down on Florida Panhandle]
The figures represent residences in the path of rising seawater from the Fort Walton Beach area to Tallahassee, the state's capital, and the cost estimate is for full replacement of completely-destroyed dwellings.
Insurance company payouts based on current storm models may be from $1 billion to $3 billion, Randy Binner and Ryan Aceto, analysts with B. Riley FBR, projected in a report. Progressive might make after-tax claims payments of $67 million, compared with $40 million for Travelers and $39 million for AIG, the analysts estimated.
"The losses broadly fall within our loss expectations" for the end of the year, they noted. Hurricane season in the Atlantic stretches from June through Nov. 30, and October is typically among the most active periods.
The White House declared a pre-landfall emergency in Florida on Tuesday, approving a request a day earlier from Gov. Rick Scott that frees up federal funds for both protective measures beforehand and debris removal in the storm's wake.
Scott, a Republican who suspended his Senate campaign against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson, said state and local government capabilities were already strained by recovery efforts after Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Hurricanes Irma and Hermine the year before.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency "is ready," President Trump assured reporters on Tuesday. "We’re all ready. I spoke with Gov. Scott, spoke to everybody that you have to speak to. And I think that hopefully we’ll get lucky, but maybe that won’t happen. But we’re prepared."
[Also read: Damage estimate for Florence puts hurricane as one of the costliest to hit US]