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 Five States By Insured Catastrophe Losses, 2016 (1)

($ millions)

Rank State Estimated insured loss
1 Texas $8,025.3
2 Colorado 1,467.8
3 Louisiana 1,230.3
4 Florida 1,122.0
5 Tennessee 1,118.6

(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: Property Claim Services® (PCS®), a Verisk Analytics® business.

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Top Five States For Major Hail Events, 2016 (1)

 

Rank State Number of hail events
1 Texas 830
2 Kansas 569
3 Nebraska 376
4 South Dakota 324
5 Oklahoma 315
  United States 5,601

(1) One inch in diameter or larger.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service.

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Top 10 Costliest Hurricanes In The United States (1)

($ millions)

        Estimated insured loss (2)
Rank Date Location Hurricane Dollars when
occurred
In 2016
dollars (3)
1 Aug. 25-30, 2005 AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TN Hurricane Katrina $41,100 $49,793
2 Aug. 24-26, 1992 FL, LA Hurricane Andrew 15,500 24,478
3 Oct. 28-31, 2012 CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME,
NC,NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA,
RI, VA, VT, WV
Hurricane Sandy 18,750 19,860
4 Sep. 12-14, 2008 AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, OH, PA, TX Hurricane Ike 12,500 14,036
5 Oct. 24, 2005 FL Hurricane Wilma 10,300 12,479
6 Aug. 13-14, 2004 FL, NC, SC Hurricane Charley 7,475 9,348
7 Sep. 15-21, 2004 AL, DE, FL, GA, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV Hurricane Ivan 7,110 8,891
8 Sep. 17-22, 1989 GA, NC, PR, SC, UV, VA Hurricane Hugo 4,195 7,260
9 Sep. 20-26, 2005 AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, TN, TX Hurricane Rita 5,627 6,817
10 Sep. 3-9, 2004 FL, GA, NC, NY, SC Hurricane Frances 4,595 5,746

(1) Includes hurricanes occurring through 2016.
(2) Property coverage only. Excludes flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.
(3) Adjusted for inflation through 2016 by ISO using the GDP implicit price deflator.

Source: Property Claim Services (PCS®), a Verisk Analytics® business.

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Estimated Value Of Insured Coastal Properties Vulnerable To Hurricanes By State, 2015 (1)

($ billions)

Rank State Commercial Residential Total Coastal Total exposure (2) Coastal as
a percent of total
1 New York $2,093.0 $1,272.0 $3,365.0 $5,571.0 68%
2 Florida 1,483.0 1,718.0 3,200.0 4,058.0 79
3 Virginia 92.0 106.0 1,993.0 2,078.0 10
4 Texas 725.0 638.0 1,363.0 5,358.0 28
5 Massachusetts 441.0 511.0 953.0 1,765.0 54
6 New Jersey 373.0 422.0 795.0 2,453.0 32
7 Connecticut 290.0 385.0 675.0 1,025.0 64
8 Louisiana 182.0 147.0 329.0 896.0 38
9 South Carolina 112.0 126.0 239.0 931.0 26
10 Maine 73.0 111.0 184.0 321.0 53
11 North Carolina 69.0 109.0 178.0 2,014.0 8
12 Alabama 63.0 65.0 128.0 1,014.0 13
13 Georgia 53.0 56.0 109.0 2,171.0 5
14 Delaware 34.0 59.0 93.0 241.0 29
15 New Hampshire 32.0 42.0 74.0 328.0 23
16 Mississippi 36.0 35.0 71.0 527.0 14
17 Rhode Island 25.0 46.0 71.0 241.0 22
18 Maryland 8.0 10.0 18.0 1,476.0 1
  All states shown $6,184.0 $5,858.0 $13,838.0 $32,468.0 38%
  Total, United States $6,184.0 $5,858.0 $13,838.0 NA 16%

(1) Includes residential and commercial Gulf and East Coast properties, as of December 31, 2015. Ranked by value of total insured coastal property.
(2) Total exposure is an estimate of the actual total value of all property in the state that is insured or can be insured, including the full replacement value of structures and their contents, additional living expenses and the time value of business interruption coverage.

Source: AIR Worldwide.

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  • The insured value of properties in coastal areas in the United States totaled $10.6 trillion in 2012, according to AIR Worldwide.

 

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, 2016 (1)

State Tornadoes Fatalities Rank (2) State Tornadoes Fatalities Rank (2)
Alabama 87 3 3 Montana 4 0 30
Alaska 0 0 (3) Nebraska 47 0 8
Arizona 3 0 32 Nevada 0 0 (3)
Arkansas 23 0 18 New Hampshire 2 0 36
California 7 0 27 New Jersey 2 0 36
Colorado 45 0 10 New Mexico 3 0 32
Connecticut 0 0 (3) New York 1 0 41
D.C. 0 0 (3) North Carolina 16 0 20
Delaware 0 0 (3) North Dakota 32 0 13
Florida 48 2 7 Ohio 31 0 15
Georgia 27 0 17 Oklahoma 55 2 5
Hawaii 0 0 (3) Oregon 4 0 30
Idaho 1 0 41 Pennsylvania 9 0 26
Illinois 50 0 6 Rhode Island 0 0 (3)
Indiana 40 0 12 South Carolina 3 0 32
Iowa 46 0 9 South Dakota 16 0 20
Kansas 99 0 1 Tennessee 11 2 24
Kentucky 32 0 13 Texas 90 1 2
Louisiana 31 2 15 Utah 3 0 32
Maine 2 0 36 Vermont 0 0 (3)
Maryland 2 0 36 Virginia 12 4 23
Massachusetts 2 0 36 Washington 6 0 28
Michigan 15 0 22 West Virginia 6 0 28
Minnesota 44 0 11 Wisconsin 11 0 24
Mississippi 67 1 4 Wyoming 1 0 41
Missouri 23 0 18 United States 1,059 17  

 

(1) Ranked by total number of tornadoes.
(2) States with the same number receive the same ranking.
(3) State had no tornadoes in 2016.
(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, 2016

State Number of fires Number of acres burned 
Alaska 572 496,467
Alabama 3,923 59,030
Arizona 2,288 308,245
Arkansas 1,513 33,371
California 7,349 560,815
Colorado 1,190 129,495
Connecticut 268 778
Delaware                           (1)                                      (1)
Florida 3,067 74,416
Georgia 5,086 52,119
Hawaii 10 15,098
Idaho 630 361,649
Illinois 12 133
Indiana 27 620
Iowa 465 21,371
Kansas 75 349,829
Kentucky 1,220 73,864
Louisiana 508 7,799
Maine 796 946
Maryland 120 242
Massachusetts 1,526 1,381
Michigan 389 3,666
Minnesota 1,422 12,268
Mississippi 94 8,128
Missouri 2,610 32,134
Montana 2,026 114,594
Nebraska 45 24,498
Nevada 467 265,156
New Hampshire 148 880
New Jersey 1,050 4,445
New Mexico 1,240 212,425
New York  196 4,236
North Carolina 4,007 88,109
North Dakota 563 4,657
Ohio 410 1,116
Oklahoma 1,938 767,780
Oregon 1,245 219,509
Pennsylvania 871 12,245
Rhode Island 79 57
South Carolina 982 3,804
South Dakota 1,216 81,561
Tennessee 2,165 88,038
Texas 9,300 356,680
Utah 1,078 101,096
Vermont 150 386
Virginia 580 41,441
Washington 1,272 293,717
West Virginia 18 443
Wisconsin 713 695
Wyoming 711 218,077
United States (2) 67,743 5,509,995

(1) Delaware had no wildfires in 2016.
(2) Includes Puerto Rico which had 113 fires that burned 486 acres.

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, 2016

 

Rank State Number of fires Rank State Number of acres burned
1 Texas 9,300 1 Oklahoma 767,780
2 California 7,349 2 California 560,815
3 Georgia 5,086 3 Alaska 496,467
4 North Carolina 4,007 4 Idaho 361,649
5 Alabama 3,923 5 Texas 356,680
6 Florida 3,067 6 Kansas 349,829
7 Missouri 2,610 7 Arizona 308,245
8 Arizona 2,288 8 Washington 293,717
9 Tennessee 2,165 9 Nevada 265,156
10 Montana 2,026 10 Oregon 219,509

Source: National Interagency Fire Center.

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