U.S. in Longest Stretch Without Major Hurricane Landfall Since 1860s

  • Date: 26/01/13
  • MARK E. RUQUET, PROPERTYCASUALTY360.COM

The U.S. has gone seven consecutive years without a landfalling major hurricane, the longest stretch since the 1860s, a meteorologist with Aon Benfield’s catastrophe modeler says.

“The United States is certainly in a quiet period, with Hurricane Wilma in 2005 being the last major hurricane to make landfall in the United States,” Steve Bowen, senior scientist at Impact Forecasting, said during a webinar today.

In fact, Bowen said 2012 marks the fourth consecutive year of below-average tropical-cyclone landfall on a global basis.

However, despite the slowdown in tropical-cyclone landfalls, global catastrophe losses in 2012 were 36 percent higher than the 10-year average, an Impact Forecasting report notes.

Losses for the year are currently estimated to be $72 billion, while the 10-year average is $53 billion.

Economic losses, meanwhile, were $200 billion, slightly above the 10-year average of $187 billion.

Bowen observed in an interview with PC360 that the level of loss does not necessarily correlate with the number of events that occur in a given year. Insurance penetration and economic development contribute substantially to the final figures.

The Impact Forecasting report notes, for example, that the higher-than-average 2012 insured losses are primarily due to the number of catastrophe events in the heavily insured United States.

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