The sheer size of the latest round of ice, snow and wintry conditions blanketing much of the United States reminds us that insurers play a vital role in helping communities recover from disasters such as winter storms.
The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) has a great resource that can quantify just that in its just-published 2011 national edition of A Firm Foundation: How Insurance Supports the Economy.
It shows the wide variety of ways in which insurers contribute to the U.S. and state economies, including a section on catastrophe losses by state.
According to A Firm Foundation, Texas, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky and Oklahoma were the highest-ranking states on ISOÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s list of the top five states for insured catastrophe losses in 2009 (latest available data).
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.
In addition to winter storms, catastrophic events affecting states include hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, earthquakes, wildfires and floods.
In 2010 insured catastrophe losses in the U.S. totaled $13.6 billion, according to Munich Re data. Multiple severe winter storms across the country generated $2.6 billion in insured losses in 2010, the highest losses from this peril since 2003.
Check out I.I.I. facts and stats on winter storms.