2014 NATURAL CATASTROPHES
Insured losses due to natural disasters in the United States in 2014 totaled $15.3 billion, far below the 2000 to 2013 average loss of $29 billion (in 2014 dollars), according to a January 2015 presentation by Munich Re and the Insurance Information Institute. Despite the late onset of the U.S. tornado season in 2014, insured severe thunderstorm losses exceeded $12.3 billion, the fourth highest annual total on record. The eastern United States experienced its coldest winter in over a decade. 2014 insured damages from winter storms and snow damage are estimated to exceed $2.3 billion. The Napa, California, earthquake caused economic losses of $700 million and insured losses of $150 million, becoming the largest earthquake loss in the United States since 2001. Several instances of damaging extreme precipitation events in heavily populated regions occurred in 2014. In California severe drought conditions persist despite some heavy rainfalls.
Property Claim Services (PCS), a Verisk Analytics business, defines a catastrophe as an event that causes $25 million or more in insured property losses and affects a significant number of property/casualty (P/C) policyholders and insurers. PCS estimates represent anticipated insured losses from natural and man-made catastrophes on an industrywide basis, reflecting the total net insurance payment for personal and commercial property lines of insurance covering fixed property, vehicles, boats, related-property items, business interruption and additional living expenses. They exclude loss-adjustment expenses. P/C insurance industry catastrophes losses in the United States rose to $15.5 billion in 2014 from $13.1 billion in 2013 according to PCS, the second consecutive below-average year of losses. The number of claims reached 2.1 million in 2014, compared with 1.8 million in 2013. The number of catastrophes rose to 31 from 28 in 2013. Munich Re estimates shown below are for natural catastrophes only.
Below are charts from a Webinar hosted by Munich Re and the Insurance Information Institute. Munich Re, which does include flood insurance losses its calculations, puts insured natural catastrophe losses in the United States for 2014 at $15.3 billion.
FIRST HALF 2015 NATURAL CATASTROPHES
Insured losses due to natural disasters in the United States in the first half of 2015 totaled $12.6 billion, well above the $11.2 billion average in the first halves of 2000 to 2014, according to a July 2015 presentation by Munich Re and the Insurance Information Institute. Of the 80 natural catastrophes in the first half of 2015, almost half, or 38, resulted from severe thunderstorms, which caused $7 billion in overall losses (including insured and economic losses) and $5.1 billion in insured losses, the lowest first half since 2006. There were 11 winter storms and cold waves in the first half of 2015, resulting in $3.8 billion in overall losses and $2.9 billion in insured losses, which reached a record high for insured losses. Drought in California continued to worsen, increasing the risk of wildfires, and record rainfall in Texas and Oklahoma alleviated drought but caused severe flash flooding in Texas.
- The Munich Re figures are based on property losses including, if applicable, agricultural, offshore, marine and aviation and NFIP losses.
- PCS figures include catastrophes causing insured property losses of at least $25 million in 1997 dollars and affecting a significant number of policyholders and insurers. They exclude losses covered by the federally administered NFIP.
NUMBER OF NATURAL DISASTERS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1980–2015
U.S. WINTER STORM LOSS TRENDS, 1980-2015
NATURAL DISASTER LOSSES IN THE UNITED STATES, FIRST HALF 2015
NATURAL DISASTER LOSSES IN THE UNITED STATES, 2005-2014
SIGNIFICANT NATURAL CATASTROPHES IN THE UNITED STATES, 2014
NUMBER OF U.S. LANDFALLING TROPICAL CYCLONES, 1900-2013
U.S., TOTAL CATASTROPHES
The Property Claim Services (PCS) division of Verisk Analytics defines a catastrophe as an event that causes $25 million or more in insured property losses and affects a significant number of property/casualty policyholders and insurers. The estimates in the following chart represent anticipated insured losses from catastrophes on an industrywide basis, reflecting the total net insurance payment for personal and commercial property lines of insurance covering fixed property, vehicles, boats, related-property items, business interruption and additional living expenses.
ESTIMATED INSURED PROPERTY LOSSES, U.S. CATASTROPHES, 2005-2014 (1)
TOP 10 MOST COSTLY CATASTROPHES, UNITED STATES (1)
INFLATION-ADJUSTED U.S. INSURED CATASTROPHE LOSSES BY CAUSE OF LOSS, 1995-2014 (1)
U.S. INSURED CATASTROPHE LOSSES, 1989-2015 (1)
- Texas had the costliest insured catastrophe losses in 2014, $2.2 billion, followed by Colorado with $1.7 billion, according to Verisk’s Property Claim Services.
- The five states with the costliest insured disasters in 2014 had a total of $7.4 billion in insured losses, almost half of total U.S. losses of $15.5 billion.
TOP FIVE STATES BY INSURED CATASTROPHE LOSSES, 2014 (1)
TOP THREE STATES BY INFLATION-ADJUSTED INSURED CATASTROPHE LOSSES, 1985-2014 (1)