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Triple-I Issues Brief: Hurricanes Are Getting Costlier and Wetter

U.S. population growth in hurricane-prone states, coupled with the increasingly heavy rainfall which accompany these storms, has generated costlier insurance claim payouts for wind and flood-caused property damage, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).

"While wind speeds and storm surge in coastal areas grab headlines, inland flooding is on the rise," stated the just-released Triple-I Issues Brief, Hurricanes: State of the Risk. "In August 2021, Hurricane Ida brought strong winds and heavy flooding to the Louisiana coast before delivering so much water to the Northeast that Philadelphia and New York City saw flooded subway stations days after the storm passed. Ida also caused a surprising death toll thousands of miles from where the storm first made landfall." Last year's Hurricane Ian caused catastrophic flooding in central Florida after making landfall in southwest Florida as a Category 4 major hurricane.

Property damage resulting from a flood is covered under a flood insurance policy, which is typically separate from either a homeowners, condo owners, or a renters insurance policy. Flood policies are underwritten through FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and private insurers.

Triple-I found the greatest dollar growth in the value of NFIP claim payouts over the past 20 years occurred in the following areas of the U.S.

Property damage caused by windstorms is covered under standard homeowners and condo owners insurance policies. Renters insurance policies protect personal belongings against damage from windstorms. In the aftermath of hurricanes, U.S. homeowners, renters, auto, and business insurers cumulatively receive tens of thousands of claims.

"When adjusted for inflation, nine of the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history have struck since 2005," the Issues Brief continued. "This is due mainly to the fact that more people have been moving into harm's way since the 1940s, and Census Bureau data show that homes being built are bigger and more expensive than before."

The most significant population growth in the U.S. between 2011 and 2020 came in the following five states, in order, according to the Census Bureau: Texas (15.6%), Florida (13.5%), South Carolina (11.3%), North Carolina (10.3%), and Georgia (9.5%).


About the Insurance Information Institute

With more than 50 insurance company members ? including regional, super-regional, national, and global carriers ? the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) is the #1 online source for insurance information in the U.S. The organization's website, blog and social media channels offer a wealth of data-driven research studies, white papers, videos, articles, infographics and other resources solely dedicated to explaining insurance and enhancing knowledge.

Unlike other sources, Triple-I's sole focus is creating and disseminating information to empower consumers. It neither lobbies nor sells insurance. Triple-I offers objective, fact-based information about insurance ? information that is rooted in economic and actuarial soundness. Triple-I is affiliated with The Institutes Risk and Insurance Knowledge Group.

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