Catastrophes: U.S.

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/casualty insurance industry catastrophes losses in the United States including man-made disasters plummeted from $35.0 billion in 2012 to $12.9 billion in 2013, the lowest since 2009’s $10.6 billion in insured losses, according to the Property Claim Services (PCS), a Verisk Analytics business. While insured catastrophe losses and the number of claims fell well below the 10-year average in 2013, the number of catastrophes rose in 2013 to 29 from 26 in 2012. The PCS figures do not include the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) payouts.

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.

Definitions

  • 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.

NATURAL DISASTER LOSSES IN THE UNITED STATES, FIRST HALF 2015

 

Source: © 2015 Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE. As of June 2015.

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NATURAL DISASTER LOSSES IN THE UNITED STATES, 2005-2014

 

(1) Includes hail, lightning, and tornado.
(2) Includes winter storm, winter damage, cold wave, and blizzards.
(3) Includes river flood, and flash flood. Exclude flood damage losses caused by tropical cyclone and hurricane.
(4) Includes flooding caused by hurricane, tropical cyclone. Includes loss information from National Flood Insurance Program.

Source: © 2015 Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE. As of January 2015.

 

 

NATURAL CATASTROPHE LOSSES IN THE UNITED STATES, 1980-FIRST HALF 2015

(Overall and insured losses)

Source: © 2015 Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE; Property Claim Services (PCS), a Verisk Analytics business. As of June 2015.

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NUMBER OF NATURAL DISASTERS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1980–FIRST HALF 2015

(Number of events)

Source: © 2015 Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE. As of June 2015.

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U.S. CONVECTIVE LOSS EVENTS, 1980-FIRST HALF 2015

(2014 $ billions)

Source: 2015 Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE; Property Claim Services (PCS), a Verisk Analytics business. As of June 2015.

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U.S. TORNADO COUNT, FIRST HALF 2015

© 2015 Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE; NOAA. As of June 2015.

 

U.S. WINTER STORM LOSS TRENDS, 1980-2014

(2014 $ billions)

Source: 2015 Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE, as of January 2015.

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SIGNIFICANT NATURAL CATASTROPHES IN THE UNITED STATES, 2014

Source: © 2015 Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE. As of January 2015.

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INSURED U.S. TROPICAL CYCLONE LOSSES, 1980-2013

Source: 2014 Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE; Property Claim Services (PCS), a Verisk Analytics business; National Flood Insurance Plan. As of January 2014.

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NUMBER OF U.S. LANDFALLING TROPICAL CYCLONES, 1900-2013

Source: © 2014 Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE; NOAA. As of January 2014.

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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)

 

Year Number of
catastrophes
Number of claims
(millions)
Dollars when occurred
($ billions)
In 2014 dollars (2)
($ billions)
2005 24 4.4 $62.3 $73.3
2006 31 2.3 9.2 10.5
2007 23 1.2 6.7 7.5
2008 36 4.1 27.0 29.5
2009 27 2.2 10.5 11.4
2010 33 2.4 14.3 15.3
2011 30 4.9 33.6 35.3
2012 26 4.0 35.0 36.0
2013 28 1.8 12.9 13.1
2014 31 2.1 15.5 15.5

(1) Includes catastrophes causing insured property losses of at least $25 million in 1997 dollars and affecting a significant number of policyholders and insurers. Excludes losses covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.
(2) Adjusted for inflation through 2014 by ISO using the GDP implicit price deflator.

Source: Property Claim Services (PCS), a Verisk Analytics business.

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TOP 10 MOST COSTLY CATASTROPHES, UNITED STATES (1)

($ millions)

      Estimated insured property losses
Rank   Date Peril Dollars when occurred In 2014 dollars (2)
1 Aug. 2005 Hurricane Katrina $41,100 $48,383
2 Sep. 2001 Fire, explosion: World Trade Center, Pentagon terrorist attacks 18,779 24,279
3 Aug. 1992 Hurricane Andrew 15,500 23,785
4 Oct. 2012 Hurricane Sandy 18,750 19,307
5 Jan. 1994 Northridge, CA earthquake 12,500 18,345
6 Sep. 2008 Hurricane Ike 12,500 13,639
7 Oct. 2005 Hurricane Wilma 10,300 12,125
8 Aug. 2004 Hurricane Charley 7,475 9,083
9 Sep. 2004 Hurricane Ivan 7,110 8,639
10 Apr. 2011 Flooding, hail and wind including the tornadoes that struck
Tuscaloosa and other locations
7,300 7,652

(1) Property losses only. Excludes flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.
(2) Adjusted for inflation through 2014 by ISO using the GDP implicit price deflator.

Source: Property Claim Services (PCS), a Verisk Analytics business.

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INFLATION-ADJUSTED U.S. INSURED CATASTROPHE LOSSES BY CAUSE OF LOSS, 1995-2014 (1)

(2014 $ billions)

(1) Adjusted for inflation through 2014 by ISO using the GDP implicit price deflator. Excludes catastrophes causing direct losses less than $25 million in 1997 dollars. Excludes flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.
(2) Includes other wind, hail, and/or flood losses associated with catastrophes involving tornadoes.
(3) Includes wildland fires.
(4) Includes losses from civil disorders, water damage, utility service disruptions, and any workers compensation catastrophes generating losses in excess of PCS's threshold after adjusting for inflation.

Source: Property Claim Services (PCS), a Verisk Analytics business.

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U.S. INSURED CATASTROPHE LOSSES, 1989-2015 (1)

($ billions, 2014 dollars)

(1) Does not include National Flood Insurance Program losses.

*Through 6/30/15 in 2015 dollars.

Note: 2001 figure includes $20.3B for 9/11 losses reported through 12/31/01 ($25.9B 2011 dollars). Includes only business and personal property claims, business interruption and auto claims. Non-prop/BI losses = $12.2B ($15.6B in 2011 dollars.) 

Source: Property Claim Services (PCS), a Verisk Analytics business; AonBenfield; Insurance Information Institute. As of June 2015.

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2014 CATASTROPHES

  • 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)

($ millions)

Rank State Estimated insured loss
1 Texas $2,177.2
2 Colorado 1,702.1
3 Illinois 1,218.9
4 Pennsylvania 1,186.4
5 Nebraska 1,127.8

(1) Includes catastrophes causing insured property losses of at least $25 million in 1997 dollars and affecting a significant number of policyholders and insurers. Excludes losses covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.

Source: Property Claim Services (PCS), a Verisk Analytics business.

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TOP THREE STATES BY INFLATION-ADJUSTED INSURED CATASTROPHE LOSSES, 1985-2014 (1)

(2014 $ billions)

(1) Adjusted for inflation through 2014 by ISO using the GDP implicit price deflator. Excludes catastrophes causing direct losses less than $25 million in 1997 dollars. Excludes flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.
(2) Includes the other 47 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Source: Property Claim Services (PCS), a Verisk Analytics business.

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