Catastrophes By State

The insurance industry plays a vital role in helping individuals and businesses prepare for and recover from the potentially devastating effects of a disaster such as a catastrophic hurricane or storm or wildfire. Information on catastrophes, including earthquakes, terrorism, hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes is provided in the “Defraying the Costs of Disasters section of the Firm Foundation (see chapter navigation on the left). In addition, the section below provides state catastrophe rankings, followed by information on the following types of disasters:

  • Hailstorms
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Wildfires

State Catastrophe Rankings

ISO 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 charts 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. They exclude loss-adjustment expenses.

 

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 FIVE STATES FOR MAJOR HAIL EVENTS, 2015 (1)

Rank State Number of hail events
1 Texas 783
2 Kansas 519
3 Nebraska 458
4 Oklahoma 349
5 South Dakota 283
  United States 5,411

(1) One inch in diameter or larger.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service.

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TOP 10 MOST COSTLY HURRICANES IN THE UNITED STATES (1)

($ millions)

        Estimated insured loss (2)
Rank Date Location Hurricane Dollars when
occurred
In 2014
dollars (3)
1 Aug. 25-30, 2005 AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TN Hurricane Katrina $41,100 $48,383
2 Aug. 24-26, 1992 FL, LA Hurricane Andrew 15,500 23,785
3 Oct. 28-31, 2012 CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ,
NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, VT, WV
Hurricane Sandy 18,750 19,307
4 Sep. 12-14, 2008 AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, OH, PA, TX Hurricane Ike 12,500 13,639
5 Oct. 24, 2005 FL Hurricane Wilma 10,300 12,125
6 Aug. 13-14, 2004 FL, NC, SC Hurricane Charley 7,475 9,083
7 Sep. 15-21, 2004 AL, DE, FL, GA, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ,
NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV
Hurricane Ivan 7,110 8,639
8 Sep. 17-22, 1989 GA, NC, PR, SC, UV, VA Hurricane Hugo 4,195 7,055
9 Sep. 20-26, 2005 AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, TN, TX Hurricane Rita 5,627 6,624
10 Sep. 3-9, 2004 FL, GA, NC, NY, SC Hurricane Frances 4,595 5,583

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

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

 

  

ESTIMATED VALUE OF INSURED COASTAL PROPERTIES VULNERABLE TO HURRICANES BY STATE, 2012 (1)

($ billions)

Rank State Coastal Total exposure (2) Coastal as a
percent of total
1 New York  $2,923.1 $4,724.2 62%
2 Florida  2,862.3 3,640.1 79
3 Texas  1,175.3 4,580.7 26
4 Massachusetts  849.6 1,561.4 54
5 New Jersey  713.9 2,129.9 34
6 Connecticut  567.8 879.1 65
7 Louisiana  293.5 823.0 36
8 South Carolina  239.3 843.6 28
9 Virginia  182.3 1,761.7 10
10 Maine  164.6 285.5 58
11 North Carolina  163.5 1,795.1 9
12 Alabama  118.2 917.8 13
13 Georgia  106.7 1,932.2 6
14 Delaware  81.9 208.9 39
15 New Hampshire  64.0 278.7 23
16 Mississippi  60.6 468.5 13
17 Rhode Island  58.3 207.5 28
18 Maryland  17.3 1,293.4 1
  Total, states shown $10,642.2 $28,331.4 38%
  Total, United States $10,642.2 $64,624.3 16%

(1) Includes residential and commercial properties, as of December 31, 2012. Ranked by value of insured coastal property.
(2) Total exposure is an estimate of the actual total value of all property in the state that is insured or can be insured, including the full replacement value of structures and their contents, additional living expenses and the time value of business interruption coverage.

Source: AIR Worldwide.

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  • The insured value of properties in coastal areas in the United States totaled $10.6 trillion in 2012, according to AIR Worldwide.

 

While individual hurricanes and earthquakes tend to produce higher losses, tornadoes account for a major share of catastrophe losses because of their frequency.

 

TORNADOES AND RELATED DEATHS BY STATE, 2015 (1)

State Tornadoes Fatalities Rank (2) State Tornadoes Fatalities Rank (2)
Alabama 32 0 12 Montana 1 0 39
Alaska 0 0 (3) Nebraska 38 0 9
Arizona 3 0 32 Nevada 2 0 37
Arkansas 25 2 14 New Hampshire 1 0 39
California 13 0 23 New Jersey 0 0 (3)
Colorado 52 0 6 New Mexico 4 0 30
Connecticut 0 0 (3) New York 3 0 32
D.C. 0 0 (3) North Carolina 10 0 26
Delaware 1 0 39 North Dakota 35 0 10
Florida 24 0 15 Ohio 6 0 29
Georgia 24 0 15 Oklahoma 111 2 3
Hawaii 0 0 (3) Oregon 1 0 39
Idaho 1 0 39 Pennsylvania 12 0 25
Illinois 82 2 4 Rhode Island 0 0 (3)
Indiana 17 0 20 South Carolina 13 0 23
Iowa 46 0 8 South Dakota 26 0 13
Kansas 178 0 2 Tennessee 18 2 19
Kentucky 17 0 20 Texas 228 17 1
Louisiana 34 0 11 Utah 3 0 32
Maine 0 0 (3) Vermont 0 0 (3)
Maryland 3 0 32 Virginia 7 0 28
Massachusetts 2 0 37 Washington 4 0 30
Michigan 9 0 27 West Virginia 3 0 32
Minnesota 24 0 15 Wisconsin 20 0 18
Mississippi 63 11 5 Wyoming 15 0 22
Missouri 48 0 7 United States 1,259 (4) 36  

(1) Ranked by total number of tornadoes.
(2) States with the same number receive the same ranking.
(3) State had no tornadoes in 2015.
(4) The U.S. total will not match data used in other charts because it counts tornadoes that cross state lines.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Storm Prediction Center, National Weather Service.

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WILDFIRES BY STATE, 2015

State Number of fires Number of acres burned
Alabama 3,198 47,380
Alaska 768 5,111,404
Arizona 1,662 160,152
Arkansas 1,837 26,630
California 8,745 893,362
Colorado 709 22,602
Connecticut 76 159
Delaware (1) (1)
Florida 2,422 73,432
Georgia 2,331 10,556
Hawaii 17 5,611
Idaho 1,324 804,094
Illinois 18 806
Indiana 16 868
Iowa 533 14,945
Kansas 154 53,936
Kentucky 774 19,207
Louisiana 1,172 21,036
Maine 375 574
Maryland 158 1,078
Massachusetts 1,525 1,763
Michigan 526 3,806
Minnesota 1,849 30,563
Mississippi 2,294 34,769
Missouri 3,161 29,893
Montana 2,432 351,264
Nebraska 51 4,854
Nevada 551 42,479
New Hampshire 114 622
New Jersey 1,013 2,685
New Mexico 696 44,104
New York 186 3,844
North Carolina 3,828 15,220
North Dakota 726 32,321
Ohio 69 548
Oklahoma 1,309 100,382
Oregon 2,588 685,809
Pennsylvania 831 4,473
Rhode Island 86 132
South Carolina 976 3,800
South Dakota 1,032 72,985
Tennessee 611 8,478
Texas 9,272 184,418
Utah 930 10,203
Vermont 102 346
Virginia 631 6,574
Washington 2,013 1,137,664
West Virginia 8 219
Wisconsin 993 2,970
Wyoming 512 35,652
United States (2) 68,151 10,125,149

(1) Delaware had no wildfires in 2015.
(2) Includes Puerto Rico which had 947 fires that burned 4,477 acres.

Source: National Interagency Fire Center.

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TOP 10 STATES FOR WILDFIRES RANKED BY NUMBER OF FIRES AND BY NUMBER OF ACRES BURNED, 2015

 

Rank State Number of fires Rank State Number of acres burned
1 Texas 9,272 1 Alaska 5,111,404
2 California 8,745 2 Washington 1,137,664
3 North Carolina 3,828 3 California 893,362
4 Alabama 3,198 4 Idaho 804,094
5 Missouri 3,161 5 Oregon 685,809
6 Oregon 2,588 6 Montana 351,264
7 Montana 2,432 7 Texas 184,418
8 Florida 2,422 8 Arizona 160,152
9 Georgia 2,331 9 Oklahoma 100,382
10 Mississippi 2,294 10 Florida 73,432

Source: National Interagency Fire Center.

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