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

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 Seven States and Territories By Insured Catastrophe Losses, 2017 (1)

($ millions)

Rank State/territory Estimated insured loss Number of claims
1 Puerto Rico $26,894.3 560,900
2 Texas 22,229.9 1,136,750
3 Florida 16,469.5 1,177,050
4 California 15,209.2 173,650
5 U.S. Virgin Islands 5,009.8 47,300
6 Colorado 2,274.7 236,800
7 Minnesota 1,652.7 145,600

(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: The Property Claim Services® (PCS®) unit of ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® company.

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Top Five States For Major Hail Events, 2018 (1)

 

Rank State Number of hail events
1 Texas 508
2 Kansas 493
3 Colorado 332
4 Nebraska 309
5 South Dakota 309
  United States 4,610

(1) 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 Date Location Hurricane Dollars when occurred In 2018 dollars (2)
1 Aug. 25-30, 2005 AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TN Hurricane Katrina $41,100 $51,882
2 Sep. 19-22, 2017 PR, USVI Hurricane Maria (3) 25,000-30,000 25,600-30,700
3 Sep. 6-12, 2017 AL, FL, GA, NC, PR, SC, UV Hurricane Irma (3) 20,000-25,000 20,400-25,600
4 Oct. 28-31, 2012 CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH,
NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, VT, WV
Hurricane Sandy 18,750 20,688
5 Aug. 25-Sep. 1, 2017 AL, LA, MS, NC, TN, TX Hurricane Harvey (3) 16,000-19,000 16,400-19,400
6 Aug. 24-26, 1992 FL, LA Hurricane Andrew 15,500 25,404
7 Sep. 12-14, 2008 AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, OH, PA, TX Hurricane Ike 12,500 14,631
8 Oct. 24, 2005 FL Hurricane Wilma 10,300 13,002
9 Aug. 13-14, 2004 FL, NC, SC Hurricane Charley 7,475 9,729
10 Sep. 15-21, 2004 AL, DE, FL, GA, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ,
NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV
Hurricane Ivan 7,110 9,254

(1) Property losses only. Excludes flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program. Ranked on dollars when occurred. As of March 6, 2019.
(2) Adjusted for inflation through 2018 by the Insurance Information Institute using the GDP implicit price deflator.
(3) Insurance Information Institute estimate based on data from catastrophe risk modelers, reinsurance companies, the Property Claims Services unit of Verisk Analytics, the Federal Emergency Management Agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. These estimates are preliminary because the organizations involved periodically resurvey the events, and the severity of losses and other factors create a high level of uncertainty surrounding the ultimate loss figures.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, catastrophe risk modelers, reinsurance companies, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, the Property Claim Services® (PCS®) unit of ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® company, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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Storm Surge Risk By State By Number Of Homes and Reconstruction Value, 2018 (1)

 

    By number of single-family homes
Rank State Extreme Very high High Moderate Low (2)
1 Florida 351,093 1,064,674 1,752,603 2,292,791 2,774,175
2 Louisiana 72,256 207,442 624,521 747,111 817,480
3 Texas 39,109 117,558 253,947 384,944 543,847
4 New Jersey 95,659 278,539 382,065 471,353 (3)
5 New York 75,238 224,558 347,236 462,380 (3)
6 Virginia 26,960 94,378 246,824 366,478 409,129
7 South Carolina 35,934 126,997 209,026 294,239 347,030
8 North Carolina 32,282 95,286 160,831 210,233 259,718
9 Massachusetts 11,048 46,558 102,189 157,898 (3)
10 Georgia 8,887 50,409 105,735 141,518 152,559
11 Maryland 17,824 60,553 99,056 125,417 (3)
12 Mississippi 9,261 30,353 60,620 90,010 101,720
13 Pennsylvania 932 20,815 56,830 83,808 (3)
14 Connecticut 7,167 28,497 46,618 67,207 (3)
15 Alabama 6,379 17,306 32,331 44,744 57,973
16 Delaware 8,901 24,649 40,048 56,418 (3)
17 Rhode Island 1,876 8,153 17,312 26,484 (3)
18 Maine 5,645 7,960 11,851 18,150 (3)
19 New Hampshire 284 4,551 7,446 9,753 (3)
  Total homes potentially affected 806,735 2,509,236 4,557,089 6,050,936 6,942,499
    By reconstruction value (4)
($ millions)
Rank State Extreme Very high High Moderate Low (2)
1 Florida $68,993 $214,615 $353,434 $458,546 $552,418
2 New York 29,069 92,193 142,654 190,524 (3)
3 Louisiana 15,058 44,362 141,431 169,398 186,089
4 New Jersey 27,211 83,141 116,379 146,074 (3)
5 Texas 6,545 20,281 46,590 73,690 103,258
6 Virginia 6,889 23,533 57,148 84,231 95,057
7 South Carolina 10,366 33,690 52,352 70,363 80,775
8 North Carolina 6,503 19,557 33,348 43,888 54,356
9 Massachusetts 2,980 13,364 29,309 46,443 (3)
10 Georgia 2,740 13,213 24,703 31,745 33,764
11 Maryland 4,349 14,484 23,474 29,807 (3)
12 Connecticut 2,559 9,609 15,453 22,112 (3)
13 Mississippi 1,977 6,157 11,914 17,373 19,558
14 Pennsylvania 216 4,664 13,121 19,445 (3)
15 Delaware 2,636 7,021 11,464 16,078 (3)
16 Alabama 1,204 3,124 5,790 7,962 10,140
17 Rhode Island 529 2,408 5,094 7,809 (3)
18 Maine 1,281 1,914 2,960 4,634 (3)
19 New Hampshire 64 933 1,721 2,312 (3)
  Total homes potentially affected $191,171 $608,264 $1,088,339 $1,442,436 $1,620,653

(1) The risk categories are cumulative and increase in value from extreme to low. Extreme risk signals the higher risk of damage from a weak hurricane, while low risk includes up to Category 5 hurricanes that are the least likely to occur but will cause more storm surge damage inland.
(2) The low-risk category refers to Category 5 hurricanes, which are not common along the northeastern Atlantic Coast.
(3) Storm surge risk in the low category for homes on the northeastern Atlantic Coast is not shown due to the extremely low probability of a Category 5 storm affecting these areas.
(4) Represents the cost to completely rebuild including labor and materials by geographic location.

Source: CoreLogic, Inc., a data and analytics company.

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, 2017 (1)

 

State Tornadoes Fatalities Rank (2) State Tornadoes Fatalities Rank (2)
Alabama 65 0 7 Montana 2 0 37
Alaska 0 0 (3) Nebraska 38 0 16
Arizona 3 0 34 Nevada 0 0 (3)
Arkansas 26 0 22 New Hampshire 0 0 (3)
California 2 0 37 New Jersey 2 0 37
Colorado 20 0 26 New Mexico 11 0 29
Connecticut 0 0 (3) New York 12 0 28
Delaware 1 0 41 North Carolina 34 0 19
D.C. 1 0 41 North Dakota 41 0 15
Florida 41 0 13 Ohio 43 0 12
Georgia 131 16 2 Oklahoma 62 1 9
Hawaii 0 0 (3) Oregon 3 0 34
Idaho 1 0 41 Pennsylvania 26 0 22
Illinois 65 3 7 Rhode Island 0 0 (3)
Indiana 36 0 17 South Carolina 51 1 11
Iowa 57 0 10 South Dakota 21 0 25
Kansas 74 0 6 Tennessee 35 0 18
Kentucky 29 0 20 Texas 176 4 1
Louisiana 88 3 4 Utah 0 0 (3)
Maine 10 0 31 Vermont 0 0 (3)
Maryland 4 0 33 Virginia 23 0 24
Massachusetts 2 0 37 Washington 3 0 34
Michigan 11 0 29 West Virginia 5 0 32
Minnesota 41 0 13 Wisconsin 28 1 21
Mississippi 81 5 5 Wyoming 15 0 27
Missouri 102 1 3 United States (4) 1,522 35  

(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 2017.
(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, 2018

 

State Number of fires Number of acres burned
Alabama 970 15,464
Alaska 367 410,683
Arizona 2,000 165,356
Arkansas 1,119 24,071
California 8,054 1,823,153
Colorado 1,328 475,803
Connecticut 52 40
Delaware 0 0
District of Columbia 0 0
Florida 2,249 138,820
Georgia 2,572 14,236
Hawaii 3 21,979
Idaho 1,132 604,481
Illinois 6 120
Indiana 26 115
Iowa 386 8,014
Kansas 71 59,234
Kentucky 376 8,417
Louisiana 647 10,742
Maine 542 678
Maryland 76 359
Massachusetts 320 210
Michigan 431 3,786
Minnesota 1,344 17,005
Mississippi 1,168 21,194
Missouri 103 6,025
Montana 1,342 97,814
Nebraska 35 122
Nevada 649 1,001,966
New Hampshire 145 61
New Jersey 625 1,347
New Mexico 1,334 382,345
New York 109 848
North Carolina 3,625 18,058
North Dakota 1,026 19,557
Ohio 67 337
Oklahoma 1,707 745,097
Oregon 2,019 897,263
Pennsylvania 1,276 3,614
Puerto Rico 25 389
Rhode Island 32 14
South Carolina 1,136 9,939
South Dakota 433 5,027
Tennessee 341 3,763
Texas 10,541 569,811
Utah 1,333 438,983
Vermont 59 113
Virginia 1,266 15,224
Washington 1,743 438,834
West Virginia 467 6,370
Wisconsin 825 1,678
Wyoming 611 279,243
United States (1) 58,083 8,767,492

(1) Includes Puerto Rico.

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, 2018

 

Rank State Number of fires Rank State Number of acres burned
1 Texas 10,541 1 California 1,823,153
2 California 8,054 2 Nevada 1,001,966
3 North Carolina 3,625 3 Oregon 897,263
4 Georgia 2,572 4 Oklahoma 745,097
5 Florida 2,249 5 Idaho 604,481
6 Oregon 2,019 6 Texas 569,811
7 Arizona 2,000 7 Colorado 475,803
8 Washington 1,743 8 Utah 438,983
9 Oklahoma 1,707 9 Washington 438,834
10 Minnesota 1,344 10 Alaska 410,683

Source: National Interagency Fire Center.

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