2018: During the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season 15 named storms formed in the Atlantic region. Eight of those storms became hurricanes and two of those, Florence and Michael, became major storms, Category 3 and above. Florence became the third hurricane of the season and reached Category 4 status. It became a slow-moving storm that brought hurricane-force winds, life-threatening storm surge, and freshwater flooding and at least 30 inches of rain in parts of North Carolina and claimed at least 42 lives in the Carolinas and Virginia. The storm set a record in North Carolina for rain from a hurricane. The previous record was 24 inches caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Catastrophe modelers have estimated that insured losses from Hurricane Florence would range from $2.5 billion to $5.0 billion, excluding National Flood Insurance Program losses. In addition, between 70 percent and 85 percent of flood losses are estimated to be uninsured.
Hurricane Michael became a strong Category 4 storm on October 10 and made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, in the Florida Panhandle. Hurricane Michael, which struck Florida with wind speeds just under a Category 5 storm, may be the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Florida Panhandle and could be the strongest hurricane to make landfall in that region since Hurricane Dennis in 2005. Unofficial reports put the death toll from Michael at about 40. According to CoreLogic there were 57,000 homes at risk of coastal storm surge, totaling more than $13 billion in reconstruction cost value (RCV) across Florida alone. Other catastrophe modelers estimated that insured losses from Hurricane Michael could range from $6 billion to $8 billion. As of March 15, 2019, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulations reported that insured losses from Michael in Florida had reached $6.1 billion, comprised of residential and commercial property, private flood and business interruption insurance, and miscellaneous coverages. There were about 144,000 claims made through March 15, with about 80 percent of those claims closed.
2017: The hurricane season of 2017 broke several records, as 17 tropical storms formed in the Atlantic Basin, with 10 of these becoming hurricanes. Six hurricanes became major storms, Category 3 and above—Harvey, Irma, Jose, Lee, Maria and Ophelia. Two hurricanes, Irma and Maria, reached Category 5 strength. The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was the first time three Category 4 hurricanes—Harvey, Irma and Maria—made landfall in the United States and its territories in one year, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
On August 25 Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas as a Category 4 storm. Harvey was the first major hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, and the first Category 4 hurricane to affect Texas since Hurricane Carla in 1961. The last time a hurricane made landfall in Texas was in 2008 when Hurricane Ike, a Category 2 storm, struck the state. Harvey brought unprecedented flooding from rainfall to Texas and Louisiana. About 50 inches of rain fell in portions of the Greater Houston area and the upper Texas coast, breaking records. On August 30 Harvey made landfall west of Cameron, Louisiana, as a tropical storm, continuing to bring rain to Texas and Louisiana. Tens of thousands of people were displaced due to floods, with thousands of homes and businesses destroyed. At least 68 direct deaths related to Hurricane Harvey have been reported in Texas. Harvey was the deadliest U.S. hurricane in terms of direct deaths since superstorm Sandy in 2012, and the deadliest to hit Texas since 1919, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Loss estimates are not yet available from the Property Claims Services (PCS) unit of ISO. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that insured losses from Hurricane Harvey will total between $16 billion and $19 billion in dollars when it occurred, making it the fifth costliest hurricane to hit the United States, excluding flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.
Hurricane Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key in the Lower Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane on September 10, and a second landfall in Florida on Marco Island in Southwest Florida as a Category 3 hurricane. The storm brought high storm surge to Naples and widespread, damaging winds across most of Florida. Hurricane Irma was one of the most powerful and costliest hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin, and the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. At its peak it was a Category 5 storm, and was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since Katrina in 2005. Complete devastation was reported in the Northern Leeward Islands and Virgin Islands. According to NOAA, the Florida Keys were heavily impacted, with 25 percent of buildings destroyed, and 65 percent significantly damaged. Irma brought record storm surge to parts of the Southeast coast, including Jacksonville, Florida, with significant coastal flooding extending into the Carolinas. Irma caused 10 direct deaths in the United States, three in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the remainder on mainland United States, according to NOAA. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation reported that as of November 14, 2018 about 1,002,800 claims were filed in the state from Irma, resulting in $11.1 billion in insured losses. To date, 92 percent of claims have been closed, either paid or unpaid. Loss estimates are not yet available from the Property Claims Services (PCS) unit of ISO. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that insured losses from Hurricane Irma will be between $20 billion and $24 billion in dollars when it occurred. This would place Irma as the third costliest hurricane to hit the United States, excluding flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program.
Maria became a Category 5 hurricane on September 18, passing over St. Croix in the Virgin Islands and later made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in Puerto Rico. Maria was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Puerto Rico since a Category 5 hurricane hit the island in 1928. Maria caused 65 official direct deaths and catastrophic damage to much of the island. Maria brought up to 37 inches of rain, with widespread flooding and mudslides, according to NOAA. The government of Puerto Rico later estimated that the number of deaths was 1,427 due to delayed or interrupted health care, and raised that tally to 2,975 after a study was conducted by George Washington University. Loss estimates are not yet available from the Property Claims Services (PCS) unit of ISO, but it has provided a relative ranking for Maria as the second costliest hurricane to hit the United States, surpassed in losses only by Hurricane Katrina, which caused about $50 billion in insured losses in 2017 dollars. PCS estimates that insured losses from Hurricane Irma will be more than $25 billion.
Hurricane Nate made a first landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on October 7 near the mouth of the Mississippi River, and a second landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi, on October 8. Nate was the fourth hurricane to make landfall in the United States in 2017, the first year the United States has had four landfalls since 2005.
The following chart from the Property Claim Services (PCS®) unit of ISO, a Verisk Analytics® business, ranks historic hurricanes based on their insured losses, adjusted for inflation. The chart beneath it, from AIR Worldwide Corp., estimates insured property losses from notable hurricanes from past years, if they were to hit the nation again today with the same meteorological parameters.