A Firm Foundation: How Insurance Supports the Economy

Insured losses from hurricanes rose in the past 15 years as hurricane activity has intensified. When adjusted for inflation, nine of the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history have struck since 2004. In addition to the increase in storm activity, construction along both the Gulf Coast and East Coast has continued to develop, and property values have increased, resulting in higher loss exposure.

The chart below shows insured losses in dollars for the top 10 costliest hurricanes in the United States when they occurred and in 2020 dollars, adjusted for inflation. According to Aon, Katrina was the costliest hurricane on record, causing $65 billion in insured losses when it occurred in 2005, including losses from the NFIP. Losses from Katrina totaled $86.6 billion in 2020 dollars.

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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