You are here:HomeIssuesNatural Disaster20112011 a Record Year for Disasters

2011 a Record Year for Disasters

Federal authorities say that a dozen weather disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damages hit the nation this year, the largest number of major disasters in more than 30 years of record keeping
December 28, 2011

Federal authorities say that a dozen weather disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damages hit the nation this year, the largest number of major disasters in more than 30 years of record keeping.  Despite the record number of disasters, the year’s economic losses from storms, flooding and droughts totals $52 billion, far less than in 2005, the most expensive year.  Hurricane Katrina, the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history, made landfall and caused damages totaling $145 billion in economic losses in today’s dollars.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, insurers made payouts of more than $25 billion for catastrophes through the end of September this year.  Insured losses from catastrophes have totaled more than $25 billion in five of the last 11 years.  Steven Weisbart, chief economist at the institute, said that formerly this year’s loss would have been unusual.  Weisbart said that catastrophe losses have made the property and casualty industry less profitable this year and that the volume of claims increases the chances of premium increases, not to recover losses but to make certain that premium revenue is sufficient to cover the level of claims.

Among the disasters of 2011: Hurricane Irene cost more than $7.3 billion in damages and 45 deaths. The Joplin, Missouri tornado was the deadliest single tornado in 61 years, with 160 deaths, and the tornado there, along with 179 others across 15 states in late May cost $9.1 billion, with $6.5 billion in insured losses.

Read the entire article on the costs of 2011 natural disasters in the U.S.: A Dozen Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters (Hartford Courant 12/8/11)

Filed under: