A Firm Foundation: How Insurance Supports the Economy

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 “Supporting resiliency and disaster recovery" 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

Top Five States By Number Of Major Hail Events, 2021 (1)

 

Rank State Number of hail events
1 Texas 688
2 Kansas 303
3 Nebraska 225
4 South Dakota 218
5 Oklahoma 159
  United States 3,762

(1) Hailstones one inch in diameter or larger.

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

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Top 10 Costliest Hurricanes In The United States (1)

($ millions)

      Estimated insured loss
Rank Year Hurricane Dollars when occurred In 2021 dollars (2)
1 2005 Hurricane Katrina $65,000 $89,680
2 2021 Hurricane Ida 36,000 36,000
3 2012 Hurricane Sandy 30,000 35,140
4 2017 Hurricane Harvey 30,000 33,110
5 2017 Hurricane Irma 30,100 33,000
6 2017 Hurricane Maria 29,500 32,400
7 1992 Hurricane Andrew 16,000 30,770
8 2008 Hurricane Ike 18,200 22,540
9 2005 Hurricane Wilma 10,670 14,510
10 2018 Hurricane Michael 13,250 14,200

(1) Includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and losses sustained by private insurers and government-sponsored programs such as the National Flood Insurance Program. Includes hurricanes that occurred through 2021. Subject to change as loss estimates are further developed. As of February 2, 2022. Ranked on insured losses in 2021 dollars.
(2) Adjusted for inflation by Aon using the U.S. Consumer Price Index.

Source: Aon.

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Top 15 Metropolitan Areas At Risk for Storm Surge and Hurricane Wind, 2022

 

  Single-family (1)
    At risk for storm surge     At risk for hurricane wind
Rank (2) Metropolitan area Number Reconstruction
cost value (2)
($ billions)
Rank (2) Metropolitan area Number Reconstruction
cost value (2)
($ billions)
1  New York, NY 786,279 $369.9 1  New York, NY 3,814,468 $1,945.5
2 Miami, FL 740,744 183.9 2 Houston, TX 2,032,661 619.8
3 Tampa, FL 555,474 125.9 3 Miami, FL 2,009,913 501.1
4 New Orleans, LA 405,369 124.3 4 Philadelphia, PA 1,924,785 762.9
5 Virginia Beach, VA 397,947 120.1 5 Washington, DC 1,753,336 628.5
6 Cape Coral, FL 330,465 84.4 6 Boston, MA 1,303,433 555.5
7 North Port, FL 293,538 73.4 7 Tampa, FL 1,116,079 275.5
8 Houston, TX 264,461 71.0 8 Baltimore, MD 910,522 283.0
9 Naples, FL 200,276 55.4 9 Virginia Beach, VA 580,825 177.5
10 Jacksonville, FL 194,583 55.4 10 Jacksonville, FL 566,825 157.0
11 Charleston, SC 188,329 61.5 11 Providence, RI 474,328 176.0
12 Myrtle Beach, SC 183,757 41.9 12 Richmond, VA 452,639 150.4
13 Lafayette, LA 148,646 37.1 13 New Orleans, LA 435,865 133.9
14 Baton Rouge, LA 141,932 40.8 14 North Port, FL 386,689 102.0
15 Salisbury, MA 136,220 39.3 15 Hartford, CT 380,080 143.4
  Multi-family (3)
    At risk for storm surge     At risk for hurricane wind
Rank (2) Metropolitan area Number Reconstruction
cost value (2)
($ billions)
Rank (2) Metropolitan area Number Reconstruction
cost value (2)
($ billions)
1  New York, NY 109,317 $62.8 1  New York, NY 459,184 $261.8
2 Miami, FL 28,645 8.7 2 Washington, DC 100,532 24.8
3 Boston, MA 26,640 12.6 3 Boston, MA 82,249 55.7
4 Tampa, FL 14,271 4.9 4 Miami, FL 61,467 20.1
5 Cape Coral, FL 13,726 4.1 5 Philadelphia, PA 59,237 34.3
6 New Orlean, LA 6,626 4.4 6 Providence, RI 33,577 24.6
7 Savannah, GA 4,470 2.2 7 Tampa, FL 26,324 8.7
8 Virginia Beach, VA 4,286 1.8 8 Houston, TX 18,092 6.2
9 Jacksonville, FL 4,219 1.8 9 Cape Coral, FL 14,579 4.3
10 Philadelphia, PA 3,449 1.5 10 Portland, ME 14,370 6.2
11 Deltona, FL 3,378 1.0 11 Baltimore, MD 12,340 4.1
12 North Port, FL 3,330 1.1 12 Hartford, CT 11,308 9.2
13 Providence, RI 2,775 2.0 13 New Haven, CT 10,943 7.6
14 Naples, FL 2,498 1.0 14 Jacksonville, FL 8,602 3.5
15 Baltimore, MD 2,126 0.5 15 Bridgeport, CT 7,733 6.0

(1) Residential structures less than four stories, including mobile homes, duplexes, manufactured homes and cabins.
(2) Combines materials, equipment and labor, but does not include the value of the land or lot.
(3) Apartments, condominiums and multi-unit dwellings.

Source: CoreLogic®, a property data and analytics company.

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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, 2021 (1)

 

State Tornadoes Fatalities Rank (2) State Tornadoes Fatalities Rank (2)
Alabama 100 7 2 Montana 1 0 34
Alaska 0 0 (3) Nebraska 53 0 8
Arizona 6 0 29 Nevada 3 0 32
Arkansas 41 2 13 New Hampshire 0 0 (3)
California 5 0 30 New Jersey 13 0 24
Colorado 48 0 10 New Mexico 18 0 21
Connecticut 8 0 27 New York 14 0 23
Delaware 2 0 33 North Carolina 19 3 20
D.C. 2 0 33 North Dakota 21 0 21
Florida 32 0 16 Ohio 37 0 15
Georgia 57 0 7 Oklahoma 39 0 14
Hawaii 0 0 (3) Oregon 0 0 (3)
Idaho 0 0 (3) Pennsylvania 44 1 12
Illinois 80 6 4 Rhode Island 2 0 33
Indiana 19 0 20 South Carolina 24 0 18
Iowa 70 0 5 South Dakota 19 0 20
Kansas 46 0 11 Tennessee 66 4 6
Kentucky 57 73 7 Texas 118 1 1
Louisiana 50 1 9 Utah 4 0 31
Maine 0 0 (3) Vermont 2 0 33
Maryland 11 0 25 Virginia 9 0 26
Massachusetts 7 0 28 Washington 2 0 33
Michigan 17 0 22 West Virginia 2 0 33
Minnesota 37 0 15 Wisconsin 28 0 17
Mississippi 92 1 3 Wyoming 2 0 33
Missouri 50 2 9 United States (4) 1,377 101  

(1) Ranked by total number of tornadoes.
(2) States with the same number of tornadoes receive the same ranking.
(3) State had no tornadoes in 2021.
(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, 2021

 

State Number of fires Number of acres burned 
Alabama 1,040 22,055
Alaska 384 253,357
Arizona 1,773 524,428
Arkansas 378 17,003
California 9,280 2,233,666
Colorado 1,017 48,195
Connecticut 60 127
Delaware 0 0
District of Columbia 0 0
Florida 2,262 105,475
Georgia 2,139 11,108
Hawaii 1 40,000
Idaho 1,332 439,600
Illinois 29 219
Indiana 34 836
Iowa 187 7,950
Kansas 55 163,982
Kentucky 723 22,859
Louisiana 507 10,303
Maine 636 377
Maryland 112 1,162
Massachusetts 588 1,439
Michigan 435 9,289
Minnesota 2,065 69,405
Mississippi 922 21,037
Missouri 1,531 40,262
Montana 2,573 747,678
Nebraska 785 27,294
Nevada 565 123,427
New Hampshire 280 96
New Jersey 906 6,652
New Mexico 672 123,792
New York 137 550
North Carolina 5,151 25,838
North Dakota 946 49,347
Ohio 524 1,415
Oklahoma 1,727 113,235
Oregon 2,202 828,777
Pennsylvania 1,350 2,892
Puerto Rico 0 0
Rhode Island 99 178
South Carolina 630 7,337
South Dakota 868 43,620
Tennessee 550 4,937
Texas 5,576 168,258
Utah 1,085 60,863
Vermont 90 157
Virginia 567 6,696
Washington 1,863 674,222
West Virginia 752 7,504
Wisconsin 1,040 2,159
Wyoming 540 53,496
United States (1) 58,968 7,124,554

(1) Includes Puerto Rico. Totals for the United States do not match totals shown elsewhere by the National Interagency Fire Center due to the use of different exhibits.

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, 2021

 

Rank State Number of fires Rank State Number of acres burned
1 California 9,260 1 California 2,233,666
2 Texas 5,576 2 Oregon 828,777
3 North Carolina 5,151 3 Montana 747,678
4 Montana 2,573 4 Washisngton 674,222
5 Florida 2,262 5 Arizona 524,428
6 Oregon 2,202 6 Idaho 439,600
7 Georgia 2,139 7 Alaska 253,357
8 Minnesota 2,065 8 Texas 168,258
9 Washington 1,863 9 Kansas 163,982
10 Arizona 1,773 10 New Mexico 123,792

Source: National Interagency Fire Center.

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