United States of disaster

by Insurance Business Wholesale04 Nov 2015
This year started with the news that crippling snowstorms gripped the Northeast of the United States. The storms, which dumped some 10 feet of snow on Boston, came as part of a cruel winter during which overall losses totaled $4.3 billion, only $3.2 billion of which was insured.
 
Given the rising profile of natural disasters – whether a ‘polar vortex’ or a ‘superstorm’ – one would assume most American businesses are covered for natural disaster, but it appears there are still gaps in the market. In its latest update, Munich Re noted that the first of the year saw $12 billion in overall losses due to natural disasters – only $8 billion of which was covered by insurance. That significant shortfall suggests the natural disaster market could still provide room for growth in the insurance industry.
 
The most destructive natural disasters

The US has been hit by some of the biggest natural disasters in recent history. Since 2000 the country has seen 103 disasters that have cost more than $1 billion.

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  • 178 - Number of natural disasters in the US since 1980 with losses of more than $1 billion
  • 50% - Percent of total losses from natural disasters attributed to tropical cyclones
  • $15.9 billion - Average loss sustained after a tropical cyclone in the US
  • 874 - Number of tornadoes that have touched down in the US in 2015 as of July 12