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Severe Weather Insurance Losses

July 9, 2012

According to Aon Benfield in its Global Catastrophe Recap report, a series of severe weather events in the central and southern portions of the United States during the month of April, cost insurance companies upwards of $1 billion in losses. Most of this damage was due to tornadoes and wind and hail storms. Do you live and work in an area of the country that is typically affected by these types of weather conditions? If not, do you know whether or not you’re accurately assessing the risk to buildings that you insure in areas that are at risk for severe weather losses? For instance, do you know that Columbus, Ohio, experiences more tornadoes than Knoxville, Tennessee? If not, what else don’t you know about severe weather events that could impact your business?

Over the past several years, we have seen a steady increase in the number and severity of destructive weather events across the globe. According to catastrophe modeling company Eqecat, the insurance losses for this year’s storm season are in line to be 30% higher than the average of recent years. Just weeks ago, on June 13th, the Dallas area suffered what is being called one of the worst hail storms in US history. Insurance losses are expected to reach as much as $2 billion.

Previously, insurers did not consider tornadoes as one of the larger loss risks. But last year became a turning point for how insurers are looking at these events. The Insurance Information Institute has stated that the 2011 spring tornado season would have been ranked as the fourth costliest disaster for insurance losses in US history, if taken as a whole.  This March we saw a massive system of tornadoes rip through the Midwest from northern Alabama to southern Indiana, along with smaller events in Texas and Oklahoma in April. This left insurers reevaluating where and to whom they are willing to provided coverage.

For the first time in years, property insurance rates are on a steady rise due to the increase in claims like these. Are you confident about the information you’re using to determine loss costs for severe weather claims? We can help.

To find out more about how WSRB’s PropertyEDGE™ software can provide you with information on severe weather patterns call or email Tracy Skinner at 206.273.7146.

Are the recent severe weather events effecting your underwriting? Leave a comment and tell us about it.


Article by: April LaRita Green

Sources: Insurance Journal (hail info), msn.comInsurance Journal (tornado info)

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