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Peak Hurricane Season Approaches, Active Year Could Cost Insurers

On August 8, as the peak of the hurricane season approaches, the National Weather Service released a new forecast for an unusually active year but not as active as the agency had predicted in May...
August 14, 2013

On August 8, as the peak of the hurricane season approaches, the National Weather Service released a new forecast for an unusually active year but not as active as the agency had predicted in May. But even a single hurricane as severe as Superstorm Sandy was last year could cause more widespread damage to homes and other property and be more costly than all the natural disasters in the first half of the year combined.

For example, during the first half of 2011, hail, thunderstorms and tornadoes cost the insurance industry a total of $17.8 billion, less than the $18.7 billion in insured losses caused by Sandy alone in 2012, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). Robert Hartwig, president of the institute, said that Sandy-type events are likely to be more common in the future, adding “I think that it’s not just insurers who have come to expect them, I think it’s the National Weather Service, and I think that low-lying communities and the states that they are a part of are beginning to slowly adapt to that reality. Until Sandy hit last year, catastrophe losses were running approximately 50 percent below their 2011 levels, and then Sandy brought us basically right on par with 2011.”

Hurricane season starts June 1 and goes through Nov. 30, though the peak season is from mid-August to late October.

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