over $70 million to policyholders
• Sabine River Basin flood in East Texas
and Louisiana (March) – estimated
losses of $1.3 billion
• Houston flood (April) – estimated loss-
es of $1.2 billion
• West Virginia flash flood (June) – losses
estimated at $1 billion
A heavy rain storm last August in Ellicott
City, Md., exceeded the 1,000-year flood
level in three hours and led to a flash flood
in the historic town. The hydraulic force
from the rushing water eroded the foun-
dations of several of the area’s businesses.
Since many of the small business owners
did not have flood insurance, a significant
portion of their losses will not be covered.
A look at other historic losses in the U.S.
shows an interesting but potentially devastating trend. Approximately 12 years passed
between the Great Mississippi and Missouri
River Floods in 1993 and the losses in New
Orleans in 2005 from Hurricane Katrina.
CoreLogic finds the losses in 2016 similar
to those experienced in 2004 and asks if
“history can repeat itself as a symmetric 12-
CoreLogic found that hurricane activity increased slightly in 2016 and actually started
earlier than the traditional June 1 date, continuing well into November. In January,
Hurricane Alex formed off of the coast of
Cuba. Fortunately, the Category 1 storm did
not make landfall or cause any significant
damage. Hurricane Otto formed in mid-November and grew to a Category 2 storm
that crossed through Central America.
There were 15 named storms – eight tropical storms and seven hurricanes. Three of
the hurricanes developed into major storms
that were identified as Category 3 or higher.
Hurricane Matthew had the potential to
wreak significant damage along the East
Coast, especially since it grew to a Category 5 storm at one point. CoreLogic says
it caused an estimated $4-6 billion damage
along the southeastern seaboard, but those
numbers could have been much higher if
the storm had tracked further onshore. By
Natural hazards created
havoc in 2016
By Patricia L. Harman, PropertyCasualty360.com
From floods, hurricanes and wind events to tornadoes, earthquakes and win- ter storms, there was no shortage of damage-causing weather events in 2016. While some categories saw less damage, others saw significant increases or even
Each year, information and analytics provider CoreLogic reviews and analyzes the natural
hazards in several categories and highlights the events that were significant threats as part of
its effort to help home and business owners manage their property risks to ensure they have
adequate insurance protections in place. Their annual Natural Hazard Risk Summary and
Analysis for 2016 found that most hazards were in the average or slightly below average range
with the exception of the activity related to floods and wind.
With $17 billion in total flood losses according to the NOAA’s National Climatic Data Cen-
ter, Corelogic found that 2016 was not a good year since the overall losses were triple the
number experienced in 2015. Five events had losses exceeding $1 billion:
• Louisiana flood (August) – losses estimated at $10 billion
• Hurricane Matthew (October) - $3 billion in estimated losses and as of Dec. 7th, the
National Flood Insurance Program had received more than 10,000 claims and paid out