A damaged car
Property Casualty

What the Hail?!

Kari Cooling
Kari Cooling
Sr. Vice President and Managing Director, Brokerage Services - Iowa

It was a year we all will remember, and one I am sure we all want to forget — 2020. But the reasoning is more than just because of the pandemic and political unrest. There were environmental issues, too.

Did you know that in 2020 there were 22 weather/climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each in the United States? It’s true! In fact, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information “these events included 1 drought event, 13 severe storm events, 7 tropical cyclone events, and 1 wildlife fire.” On top of that, 264 lives were lost in these disasters.

A Deeper Dive into the Numbers

So, that got me thinking. Was 2020 unique or are these events more common than we think? Here’s what I found.

From 1980-2020, the average number of events has been seven compared to the 22 we saw in 2020. So, yeah, 2020 was relatively unique.

Below is data from the National Center for Environmental Information, and the trends are startling. While 2020 has not been the best, let’s face it, the last five years are running hot!

Events Costs Deaths Avg. Events Per Year Avg. Costs Per Year Avg. Deaths Per Year
1980-1989 29 $178.1B 2,870 2.9 $17.81B 287
1990-1999 53 $274.0B 3,045 5.3 $27.4B 305
2000-2009 62 $519.0 B 3,091 6.2 $51.9B 309
2010-2019 119 $810.5B 5,217 11.9 $81.0B 522
2020 22 $95.0 B 262 22.0 $95.0B 262
Last 3 Years (2017-2020) 50 $234.3 B 535 16.7 $78.1B 178
Last 5 years (2015-2020) 81 $606.9 B 3,969 16.2 $121.38B 794

So, What Do These Weather-Related Statistics Mean for You?

The property casualty insurance market has hardened. At renewal, you may see the following:

  • Property rate increases
  • Increased deductibles
  • Wind/Hail deductibles added
  • Carriers leveraging other lines of coverage with the property

What Steps Should You Take to Avoid Big Losses?

When taking a look at your coverages, you may want to also:

  • Talk to your broker early and get indications on what the incumbent market is thinking
  • Discuss if this is the year to market your program
  • Consider raising your deductible to help reduce premiums
  • Update your broker on any improvement you made to your buildings that would protect your assets (installation of alarms, sprinkler systems, video surveillance, temperature/moisture monitoring, etc.)

You can also reach out to us! We’re happy to talk with you about your renewal, market conditions, and what you should be looking out for.

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