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, 2023 (1)

Rank State Number of hail events
1 Texas 1,123
2 Nebraska 486
3 Kansas 459
4 Colorado 400
4 Missouri 400
  United States 6,962

(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 2023 dollars (2)
1 2005 Hurricane Katrina $65,000 $101,865
2 2022 Hurricane Ian 54,000 55,772
3 2021 Hurricane Ida 36,000 40,503
4 2012 Hurricane Sandy 30,000 39,918
5 2017 Hurricane Harvey 30,000 37,609
6 2017 Hurricane Irma 30,050 37,473
7 2017 Hurricane Maria 29,511 36,802
8 1992 Hurricane Andrew 16,000 34,951
9 2008 Hurricane Ike 18,200 25,604
10 2005 Hurricane Wilma 10,700 16,533

(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 2023. Subject to change as loss estimates are further developed. As of January 2024. Ranked on insured losses in 2023 dollars.
(2) Adjusted for inflation by Aon using the U.S. Consumer Price Index.

Source: Aon.

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Top Metropolitan Areas At Risk for Storm Surge and Hurricane Wind, 2024

 

  At risk for storm surge
Metropolitan area (1) Number of homes Reconstruction cost value (2) ($billions)
New York 878,226 $415.4
Miami 509,133 124.0
Houston 192,937 52.6
  At risk for hurricane wind
Metropolitan area (1) Number of homes Reconstruction cost value (2) ($billions)
New York 3,765,489 $1,961.1
Houston 2,092,308 671.3
Miami 2,048,827 511.4

(1) The Miami, New York and Houston metro areas studied in this analysis are defined by the Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) of that region. In Miami, this includes the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL area; in New York City, this includes the New York City-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA area; in Houston, this includes Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland, TX.
(2) Combines materials, equipment and labor, but does not include the value of the land or lot.

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, 2023 (1)

 

State Tornadoes Fatalities Rank (2) State Tornadoes Fatalities Rank (2)
Alabama 101 9 101 Montana 4 0 4
Alaska 0 0 (3) Nebraska 81 0 81
Arizona 4 0 4 Nevada 3 0 3
Arkansas 36 4 36 New Hampshire 2 0 2
California 12 0 12 New Jersey 13 0 13
Colorado 89 0 89 New Mexico 14 0 14
Connecticut 2 0 2 New York 13 0 13
Delaware 5 1 5 North Carolina 14 0 14
D.C. 0 0 (3) North Dakota 5 0 5
Florida 47 0 47 Ohio 56 0 56
Georgia 58 1 58 Oklahoma 48 2 48
Hawaii 0 0 (3) Oregon 2 0 2
Idaho 5 0 5 Pennsylvania 26 0 26
Illinois 136 4 136 Rhode Island 2 0 2
Indiana 51 6 51 South Carolina 18 0 18
Iowa 73 0 73 South Dakota 17 0 17
Kansas 39 0 39 Tennessee 53 17 53
Kentucky 41 0 41 Texas 89 8 89
Louisiana 38 0 38 Utah 3 0 3
Maine 1 0 1 Vermont 2 0 2
Maryland 2 0 2 Virginia 8 0 8
Massachusetts 8 0 8 Washington 3 0 3
Michigan 19 2 19 West Virginia 0 0 0
Minnesota 25 0 25 Wisconsin 20 0 20
Mississippi 81 24 81 Wyoming 27 0 27
Missouri 27 5 27 United States (4) 1,423 83  

(1) Numbers include preliminary estimates as of January 2024. Ranked by total number of tornadoes.
(2) States with the same number of tornadoes receive the same ranking.
(3) State had no tornadoes in 2023.
(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, 2022

 

State Number of fires Number of acres burned
Alabama 2,710 40,975
Alaska 595 3,110,976
Arizona 1,432 124,165
Arkansas 1,903 39,028
California 7,884 309,287
Colorado 835 45,732
Connecticut 150 347
Delaware 7 79
District of Columbia 0 0
Florida 2,784 164,774
Georgia 3,621 25,017
Hawaii 5 25,053
Idaho 1,088 436,733
Illinois 32 298
Indiana 49 1,643
Iowa 7 288
Kansas 67 84,015
Kentucky 1,280 59,199
Louisiana 1,259 24,475
Maine 730 425
Maryland 117 3,139
Massachusetts 1,192 1,756
Michigan 376 3,522
Minnesota 713 3,715
Mississippi 1,980 53,170
Missouri 136 4,968
Montana 2,087 137,509
Nebraska 568 76,534
Nevada 506 58,402
New Hampshire 103 381
New Jersey 1,165 15,532
New Mexico 748 859,906
New York 162 1,313
North Carolina 6,222 28,851
North Dakota 111 1,509
Ohio 724 3,063
Oklahoma 2,811 385,133
Oregon 2,117 456,082
Pennsylvania 951 2,588
Puerto Rico 0 0
Rhode Island 76 44
South Carolina 22 677
South Dakota 527 42,148
Tennessee 1,225 15,059
Texas 12,571 671,800
Utah 945 27,245
Vermont 86 83
Virginia 558 9,956
Washington 1,492 173,659
West Virginia 893 20,275
Wisconsin 923 881
Wyoming 443 25,766
United States (1) 68,988 7,577,175

(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, 2022

 

Rank State Number of fires Rank State Number of acres burned
1 Texas 12,571 1 Alaska 3,110,976
2 California 7,884 2 New Mexico 859,906
3 North Carolina 6,222 3 Texas 671,800
4 Georgia 3,621 4 Oregon 456,082
5 Oklahoma 2,811 5 Idaho 436,733
6 Florida 2,784 6 Oklahoma 385,133
7 Alabama 2,710 7 California 309,287
8 Oregon 2,117 8 Washington 173,659
9 Montana 2,087 9 Florida 164,774
10 Mississippi 1,980 10 Montana 137,509

Source: National Interagency Fire Center.

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