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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Storm Surge Risk By State By Number Of Single-Family Homes and Reconstruction Value, 2020 (1)

 

    Number of single-family homes at risk by storm category (2)
Rank State Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Category 5
1 Florida 353,994 1,088,511 1,806,312 2,362,323 2,851,642
2 Louisiana 72,883 212,707 640,307 770,030 843,349
3 Texas 41,398 122,453 264,103 399,741 563,024
4 New Jersey 95,473 277,147 381,388 471,323 471,323 (3)
5 New York 76,805 228,069 351,937 467,787 467,787 (3)
6 Virginia 23,232 89,347 243,707 366,117 410,277
7 South Carolina 37,107 132,728 219,420 308,387 363,875
8 North Carolina 33,254 97,694 165,266 216,446 267,802
9 Georgia 9,378 54,470 113,068 152,882 164,504
10 Massachusetts 8,102 42,832 97,083 151,979 151,979 (3)
11 Maryland 16,091 59,214 98,757 126,589 126,589 (3)
12 Mississippi 5,740 25,385 56,768 90,023 102,596
13 Pennsylvania 847 21,378 58,921 85,794 85,794 (3)
14 Connecticut 6,708 27,921 46,186 67,433 67,433 (3)
15 Delaware 10,855 31,057 49,103 67,055 67,055 (3)
16 Alabama 5,203 15,841 27,769 40,287 51,929
17 Rhode Island 1,396 7,979 17,345 26,336 26,336 (3)
18 Maine 5,657 7,912 11,969 18,149 18,149 (3)
19 New Hampshire 193 4,069 7,074 9,336 9,336 (3)
  Total homes
potentially affected
804,316 2,546,714 4,656,483 6,198,017 7,110,779
    Reconstruction cost value of single-family homes at risk (2), (4) ($ millions)
Rank State Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Category 5
1 Florida $71,707.9 $224,088.9 $372,234.3 $483,618.4 $580,606.2
2 Louisiana 15,887.7 47,717.2 152,745.6 184,008.0 202,330.0
3 New York 30,410.9 95,248.1 146,867.2 196,107.2 196,107.2 (3)
4 New Jersey 27,523.2 84,974.9 119,707.6 150,599.6 150,599.5 (3)
5 Texas 7,467.3 22,579.6 51,408.9 81,181.5 113,419.1
6 Virginia 5,962.5 22,598.0 57,844.1 86,624.2 98,314.8
7 South Carolina 10,447.7 35,063.9 55,589.2 75,121.4 86,468.7
8 North Carolina 7,178.2 21,277.7 36,350.3 47,968.2 59,542.6
9 Massachusetts 2,306.8 12,658.0 29,179.0 47,309.5 47,309.5 (3)
10 Georgia 2,869.0 14,504.6 26,994.0 35,215.7 37,416.2
11 Maryland 3,878.3 14,151.3 23,657.9 30,518.8 30,518.8 (3)
12 Connecticut 2,344.5 9,635.7 15,669.6 22,538.4 22,538.4 (3)
13 Pennsylvania 193.8 5,120.6 14,596.0 21,349.8 21,349.8 (3)
14 Mississippi 1,175.2 5,247.4 11,573.3 18,024.1 20,467.4
15 Delaware 3,082.8 8,693.8 13,892.8 18,943.9 18,943.9 (3)
16 Alabama 965.3 2,972.1 5,112.2 7,360.8 9,449.8
17 Rhode Island 350.2 2,339.3 5,080.9 7,761.3 7,761.3 (3)
18 Maine 1,314.9 1,892.6 2,949.9 4,589.9 4,589.8 (3)
19 New Hampshire 35.2 713.9 1,434.1 2,038.9 2,038.9 (3)
  Total homes
potentially affected
$195,101.5 $631,477.6 $1,142,886.9 $1,520,879.6 $1,709,772.1

(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) Measured in units.
(3) 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.
(4) Represents the cost to completely rebuild including labor and materials by geographic location.

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 9,260 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) 58,948 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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