PCS Q1 2014 U.S. Catastrophe Review

By Joe Louwagie  |  April 16, 2014

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In the first quarter of 2014, Property Claim Services® (PCS®) designated six catastrophe events that resulted in $2.2 billion in insured losses. Those results are slightly below the ten-year average (2005 to 2014) — seven events and approximately $2.5 billion in losses.

This year’s first quarter was the quietest since 2011, when seven events caused approximately $2.2 billion in catastrophe losses. The following year — when six catastrophe events led to $3.6 billion in losses — produced the most severe first quarter of the past decade. The polar vortex was responsible for the vast majority of the first-quarter catastrophe losses in 2014 — more than $1.5 billion across 17 states.

Nineteen states suffered from first-quarter catastrophe activity, with Georgia sustaining the greatest losses ($318 million). New York and Pennsylvania followed, with $296 million and $219 million, respectively. Georgia was also among the top states in the first quarter of 2013, with catastrophe losses of $640 million. The most affected state of the first quarter of 2013 was Mississippi, with $805 million, and Louisiana was third at $503 million.

Personal property losses accounted for 75 percent of first-quarter activity ($1.7 billion), followed by commercial property losses at 23 percent and vehicle losses at 2 percent. Seventy-three percent of polar vortex losses came from personal property, 26.7 percent from commercial property, and 0.3 percent from auto.


Joe Louwagie

Joe Louwagie is assistant vice president, Property Claim Services (PCS). PCS is a Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) business.