JERSEY CITY, N.J., July 22, 2015 — Seventeen second-quarter catastrophe events in North America led to $5.3 billion in insured losses, according to Property Claim Services® (PCS®), a Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) business. First-half catastrophe losses came to $8.1 billion from 26 events. PCS has published its full North American catastrophe summary in Barely a Whisper: PCS Q2 2015 Catastrophe Review, a report available to users of the loss aggregation service.
First-half losses represent a 36 percent year-over-year decline from 2014’s U.S. total of $12.6 billion, making it the lightest catastrophe first half since 2010. The ten-year U.S. average fell to $10.4 billion as a result. However, total catastrophe losses for the first half of 2015 could go higher, with estimates pending for three North American events (two in the United States and one in Canada).
Texas was the state most affected by catastrophes, sustaining slightly more than $2 billion in insured losses. Massachusetts followed at just under $1 billion, largely the result of seven winter storm events that occurred in the first quarter. Oklahoma and Missouri had catastrophe losses of $620 million and $460 million, respectively. Like Massachusetts, New York remains in the top five for the first half because of first-quarter winter storm activity. With the Atlantic Basin quiet once again, Florida is not among the top ten. In all, first-half events affected 27 states in 2015 – up from 24 for the same period a year ago.
For the first half of 2015, PCS declared only one Canadian catastrophe event, which came late in the second quarter, a wind and thunderstorm event that affected Alberta and Saskatchewan, causing insured losses of C$56 million. Last year, two events in Canada caused insured losses of C$140 million. One affected Ontario, and the other Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
“We’ve been closely watching the trend toward smaller, more frequent catastrophes,” said Joe Louwagie, assistant vice president, PCS. “For claims departments across North America, this may have implications for catastrophe response planning, and the claims community should remain vigilant: Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma followed the quietest first half in the past ten years.”
About Verisk Analytics
Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) is a leading data analytics provider serving customers in insurance, energy, healthcare, financial services, government, and risk management. Using advanced technologies to collect and analyze billions of records, Verisk Analytics draws on vast industry expertise and unique proprietary data sets to provide predictive analytics and decision support solutions in fraud prevention, actuarial science, insurance coverages, fire protection, catastrophe and weather risk, data management, and many other fields. In the United States and around the world, Verisk Analytics helps customers protect people, property, and financial assets. For more information, visit www.verisk.com