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 TEN STATES BY INSURED CATASTROPHE LOSSES, 2013 (1)

($ millions)

Rank State Estimated insured losses Number of events
1 Oklahoma $1,995 6
2 Texas 1,540 10
3 Illinois 1,190 6
4 Minnesota 909 2
5 Colorado 907 4
6 Mississippi 805 1
7 Nebraska 773 1
8 Georgia 762 4
9 Indiana 677 7
10 Louisiana 593 2

(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 division of Verisk Analytics.

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TOP FIVE STATES FOR MAJOR HAIL EVENTS, 2013 (1)

Rank State Number of hail events
1 Texas 651
2 Kansas 504
3 Nebraska 466
4 Oklahoma 411
5 South Dakota 360
  United States 5,457

(1) One inch in diameter or larger.

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

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THE TEN MOST COSTLY HURRICANES IN THE UNITED STATES (1)

($ millions)

        Estimated insured loss (2)
Rank Date Location Hurricane Dollars when
occurred
In 2013
dollars (3)
1 Aug. 25-30, 2005 AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TN Hurricane Katrina $41,100 $47,622
2 Aug. 24-26, 1992 FL, LA Hurricane Andrew 15,500 23,386
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 19,033
4 Sep. 12-14, 2008 AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, OH, PA, TX Hurricane Ike 12,500 13,426
5 Oct. 24, 2005 FL Hurricane Wilma 10,300 11,934
6 Aug. 13-14, 2004 FL, NC, SC Hurricane Charley 7,475 8,939
7 Sep. 15-21, 2004 AL, DE, FL, GA, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ,
NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV
Hurricane Ivan 7,110 8,502
8 Sep. 17-22, 1989 GA, NC, PR, SC, UV, VA Hurricane Hugo 4,195 6,937
9 Sep. 20-26, 2005 AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, TN, TX Hurricane Rita 5,627 6,520
10 Sep. 3-9, 2004 FL, GA, NC, NY, SC Hurricane Frances 4,595 5,495

(1) Includes hurricanes occurring through 2013.                    
(2) Property coverage only. Does not include flood damage covered by the federally adminstered National Flood Insurance Program.                    
(3) Adjusted for inflation through 2013 by ISO using the GDP implicit price deflator.                    
                    
Source: The Property Claim Services® (PCS®) unit of ISO, a Verisk Analytics company.

 

  

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
  All states above  $10,642.2 $28,331.4 38%
  Total U.S.  $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, 2013 (1)

State Tornadoes Fatalities Rank (2) State Tornadoes Fatalities Rank (2)
Alabama 27 0 15 Montana 10 0 25
Alaska 0 0 (3) Nebraska 65 0 2
Arizona 1 0 38 Nevada 0 0 (3)
Arkansas 30 2 13 New Hampshire 0 0 (3)
California 6 0 31 New Jersey 3 0 33
Colorado 27 0 15 New Mexico 0 0 (3)
Connecticut 3 0 33 New York 9 0 27
D.C. 0 0 (3) North Carolina 12 0 23
Delaware 1 0 38 North Dakota 17 0 19
Florida 37 0 10 Ohio 26 0 15
Georgia 27 1 15 Oklahoma 56 34 5
Hawaii 0 0 (3) Oregon 3 0 33
Idaho 5 0 32 Pennsylvania 9 0 27
Illinois 69 8 1 Rhode Island 0 0 (3)
Indiana 41 0 9 South Carolina 8 0 29
Iowa 30 1 13 South Dakota 15 0 20
Kansas 58 0 4 Tennessee 43 0 8
Kentucky 50 0 7 Texas 65 7 2
Louisiana 34 0 12 Utah 1 0 38
Maine 1 0 38 Vermont 0 0 (3)
Maryland 10 0 25 Virginia 3 0 33
Massachusetts 1 0 38 Washington 2 0 37
Michigan 13 0 22 West Virginia 0 0 (3)
Minnesota 11 0 24 Wisconsin 15 0 20
Mississippi 36 2 11 Wyoming 8 0 29
Missouri 54 0 6 United States 942 (4) 55  

(1) Ranked by total number of tornadoes.
(2) States with the same number receive the same ranking.
(3) State had no tornadoes in 2013.
(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, 2013

State Number of fires Number of acres burned 
Alabama 1,284 25,623
Alaska 603 1,316,876
Arizona 1,756 105,281
Arkansas 881 14,733
California 9,907 577,675
Colorado 1,176 195,145
Connecticut 76 238
Delaware 4 17
Florida 101 7,660
Georgia 2,942 6,736
Hawaii (1) (1)
Idaho 1,471 722,204
Illinois 24 55
Indiana 19 806
Iowa 436 14,704
Kansas 16 7,137
Kentucky 1,030 25,084
Louisiana 1,027 17,883
Maine 426 743
Maryland 126 182
Massachusetts 1,132 879
Michigan 436 940
Minnesota 1,115 22,107
Mississippi 5 33
Missouri 51 1,660
Montana 1,723 124,209
Nebraska 10 63
Nevada 763 162,907
New Hampshire 85 137
New Jersey 1,013 1,430
New Mexico 1,064 221,951
New York 138 1,073
North Carolina 3,514 24,547
North Dakota 515 16,116
Ohio 31 152
Oklahoma 610 26,490
Oregon 2,848 350,786
Pennsylvania 639 1,788
Rhode Island 7 27
South Carolina 1,337 7,082
South Dakota 889 4,475
Tennessee 424 7,080
Texas 70 10,743
Utah 1,276 70,282
Vermont 124 281
Virginia 482 4,418
Washington 1,527 152,603
West Virginia 557 8,577
Wisconsin 671 9,196
Wyoming 468 44,016
United States (2) 47,579 4,319,546

(1) Hawaii had no wildfires in 2013.
(2) Includes Puerto Rico which had 750 fires that burned 4,716 acres.

Source: National Interagency Fire Center.

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TOP TEN STATES FOR WILDFIRES RANKED BY NUMBER OF FIRES AND BY NUMBER OF ACRES BURNED, 2013

Rank State Number of fires Rank State Number of acres burned
1 California 9,907 1 Alaska 1,316,876
2 North Carolina 3,514 2 Idaho 722,204
3 Georgia 2,942 3 California 577,675
4 Oregon 2,848 4 Oregon 350,786
5 Arizona 1,756 5 New Mexico 221,951
6 Montana 1,723 6 Colorado 195,145
7 Washington 1,527 7 Nevada 162,907
8 Idaho 1,471 8 Washington 152,603
9 South Carolina 1,337 9 Montana 124,209
10 Alabama 1,284 10 Arizona 105,281

Source: National Interagency Fire Center.

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