Triple-I: Population Growth Drives Hurricane Loss Trends

For immediate release 

New York Press Office: Michael Barry, 917-923-8245, michaelb@iii.org

NEW YORK, July 14, 2022—Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and Delaware saw population growth in the 2010s that dramatically expanded the property damage a hurricane could cause in those states, according to a new Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) Issues Brief.

“The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be “well above average” in terms of the number of named storms, hurricanes, and “major” (Category 3, 4, or 5) hurricanes,” states the Issues Brief -- Hurricanes: State of the Risk. “Insured losses from hurricanes have risen over the past 15 years as hurricane activity has intensified. When adjusted for inflation, nine of the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history have struck since 2005. In addition to increased storm activity, coastal construction has continued, and property values risen, resulting in higher loss exposure.”

Citing 2020 U.S. Census data, Triple-I reported double-digit percentage population growth occurred in four states with coastal exposure to hurricanes since 2010:  Florida (+14.6 percent), South Carolina (+10.7 percent), Georgia (+10.6 percent), and Delaware (+10.2 percent).

“While wind speeds and storm surge in coastal areas grab headlines, inland flooding is on the rise,” Triple-I’s Issues Brief added.  Hurricane Ida, for example, made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2021, and days later brought deadly flooding to parts of Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania far from the coastline, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report found.

The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30. Colorado State University’s (CSU) Department of Atmospheric Science last week projected the formation of 17 more named storms this year, on top of the three which already developed: Alex, Bonnie, and Colin.  In addition, CSU envisions 10 of the 17 storms will become hurricanes, and five of the 10 will be classified as major ones. A typical hurricane season includes 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

The brief offers three pieces of insurance advice to those in hurricane-prone states:

  • Check your homeowners’ insurance policy to make sure the structure’s policy limit, listed under Coverage A, is high enough to rebuild the home in the event of a total loss
  • Review your policy for hurricane deductibles; and
  • Consider purchasing a flood insurance policy, because flood-caused property damage is not covered under standard homeowners’ insurance policies

Standard homeowners insurance policies cover a house’s structure and contents for wind-caused property damage.  Flood policies cover a house’s structure and contents damaged by flood. The latter are offered through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and several private insurers.

Moreover, Triple-I’s Resilience Accelerator uses advanced data analytics to create tools that empower residents to build more resilient communities before hurricanes happen. It also demonstrates the power of insurance as a force for resilience by showing how insured communities recover faster and more completely after a natural disaster.


RELATED LINKS

Facts & Statistics Hurricanes

Consumer Information Catastrophes: Insurance Issues

Videos Triple-I Non-Resident Scholar Dr. Phil Klotzbach Discusses CSU’s Hurricane Season Forecast (July 7)
Hurricane Insurance Guide

The Triple-I has a full library of educational videos on its YouTube Channel.

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