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 By Insured Catastrophe Losses, 2018 (1)

($ millions)

Rank State Estimated insured loss Number of claims
1 California $15,094.9 87,050
2 Florida 7,860.6 202,000
3 North Carolina 4,962.1 433,775
4 Colorado 3,931.7 390,150
5 Texas 3,028.3 351,850
6 Georgia 2,150.9 166,150
7 Alabama 1,133.5 60,700

(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 Hurrican 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 Aug. 25-Sep. 1, 2017 AL, LA, MS, NC, TN, TX Hurricane Harvey (3) 18,000-20,000 18,400-20,400
5 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
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 August 8, 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 Single-Family Homes and Reconstruction Value, 2019 (1)

 

    Number of single-family homes at risk by storm category
Rank State Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Category 5
1 Florida  358,902 1,085,288 1,788,071 2,338,348 2,830,201
2 Louisiana  74,792 213,442 637,354 765,612 839,321
3 Texas  40,633 121,010 259,993 393,837 555,569
4 New Jersey  94,083 276,872 381,551 471,143 (2)
5 New York  76,797 227,962 351,783 467,398 (2)
6 Virginia  23,321 89,387 243,401 365,134 409,259
7 South Carolina  37,155 130,565 216,551 304,442 359,024
8 North Carolina  33,200 97,158 163,632 213,922 264,264
9 Massachusetts  9,310 45,042 101,171 157,311 (2)
10 Georgia  9,863 54,777 112,747 151,627 163,191
11 Maryland  16,473 58,141 96,774 124,684 (2)
12 Mississippi  9,005 29,381 60,167 90,360 102,199
13 Pennsylvania  924 21,406 58,659 85,480 (2)
14 Connecticut  6,874 29,194 47,292 68,022 (2)
15 Alabama  5,777 15,596 29,234 41,164 54,586
16 Delaware  11,027 31,329 49,517 67,320 (2)
17 Rhode Island  1,391 7,423 16,513 25,354 (2)
18 Maine  5,846 8,300 12,336 18,824 (2)
19 New Hampshire  186 3,999 7,069 9,315 (2)
  Total homes potentially affected 815,559 2,546,272 4,633,815 6,158,577 7,071,745
    Reconstruction cost value of single-family homes at risk (3) ($ millions)
Rank State Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Category 5
1 Florida $73,255.3 $225,758.2 $372,102.5 $482,986.8 $581,641.5
2 New York  30,075.0 94,513.9 145,839.3 194,358.1 (2)
3 Louisiana  16,343.1 47,945.9 151,667.9 182,479.3 200,785.2
4 New Jersey  27,035.0 84,599.0 119,106.5 149,676.0 (2)
5 Texas  7,399.5 22,434.1 50,758.8 80,141.0 112,087.7
6 Virginia  6,046.8 22,878.8 58,270.3 87,017.7 98,744.9
7 South Carolina  10,377.6 34,543.8 54,837.2 74,049.4 85,214.8
8 North Carolina  7,094.4 20,928.6 35,570.1 46,843.7 57,973.4
9 Massachusetts  2,381.6 12,625.7 28,897.8 46,442.6 (2)
10 Georgia  2,980.9 14,662.9 27,079.1 35,130.6 37,325.4
11 Maryland  4,046.8 13,834.2 23,084.4 29,768.4 (2)
12 Connecticut  2,429.5 9,913.0 15,895.6 22,659.2 (2)
13 Mississippi  1,947.1 6,186.9 12,375.8 18,241.7 20,554.7
14 Pennsylvania  214.4 5,013.7 14,187.6 20,823.0 (2)
15 Delaware  3,159.6 8,797.1 14,026.2 19,121.3 (2)
16 Alabama  1,143.4 2,917.3 5,387.9 7,534.0 9,888.1
17 Rhode Island  351.3 2,039.2 4,669.2 7,321.1 (2)
18 Maine  1,294.4 1,970.7 3,031.9 4,738.2 (2)
19 New Hampshire  33.9 693.9 1,395.2 1,988.6 (2)
  Total homes potentially affected $197,609.5 $632,257.0 $1,138,183.1 $1,511,320.6 $1,701,112.2

(1) The risk categories are cumulative and increase in value from Category 1 to Category 5. Category 1 represents the higher risk of damage from a weak hurricane; Category 5 includes Categories 1 to 4 and the low risk of damage from a Category 5 hurricane.
(2) Storm surge risk for Category 5 storms for homes on the northeastern Atlantic Coast is not shown due to the extremely low probability of a Category 5 storm affecting these areas.
(3) Represents the cost to completely rebuild including labor and materials by geographic location.

Source: CoreLogic, Inc., a 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, 2018 (1)

 

State Tornadoes Fatalities Rank (2) State Tornadoes Fatalities Rank (2)
Alabama 52 0 5 Montana 10 0 31
Alaska 0 0 (3) Nebraska 37 0 13
Arizona 6 0 35 Nevada 4 0 37
Arkansas 33 1 17 New Hampshire 3 0 38
California 6 0 35 New Jersey 0 0 (3)
Colorado 39 0 12 New Mexico 10 0 31
Connecticut 8 0 33 New York 11 1 29
Delaware 0 0 (3) North Carolina 41 0 10
D.C. 0 0 (3) North Dakota 31 1 18
Florida 48 0 7 Ohio 17 0 25
Georgia 21 0 22 Oklahoma 24 0 21
Hawaii 0 0 (3) Oregon 3 0 38
Idaho 11 0 29 Pennsylvania 31 0 18
Illinois 64 0 4 Rhode Island 1 0 43
Indiana 16 0 26 South Carolina 16 0 26
Iowa 84 0 2 South Dakota 19 0 24
Kansas 45 0 9 Tennessee 20 1 23
Kentucky 41 1 10 Texas 52 0 5
Louisiana 86 1 1 Utah 2 0 40
Maine 0 0 (3) Vermont 0 0 (3)
Maryland 2 2 40 Virginia 34 1 16
Massachusetts 7 0 34 Washington 2 0 40
Michigan 13 0 28 West Virginia 1 0 43
Minnesota 36 0 14 Wisconsin 35 0 15
Mississippi 68 0 3 Wyoming 31 0 18
Missouri 48 1 7 United States (4) 1,169 10  

(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 2018.
(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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