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Catastrophe review Q3 2014

The third quarter’s six catastrophes incurred $1.2 billion in insured losses

Verisk’s Property Claim Services® (PCS®) designated six catastrophe events in the third quarter — all but one of them wind and thunderstorm. The events caused $1.2 billion in insured losses, making this the quietest third quarter in the past decade. The busiest was in 2005, with more than $48 billion in insured losses. Hurricane Katrina, which caused the 2005 spike, is largely responsible for pushing the ten-year average up to $8.5 billion. Viewing just the past nine years, the average third-quarter loss is only approximately $4 billion. In 2008, Hurricane Ike was responsible for pushing the quarter’s losses to a higher level than usual. U.S. catastrophe losses were $2 billion or lower for six of the past ten third quarters.

Frequency was below average for the third quarter. The ten-year average was 7.7 PCS-designated catastrophe events, putting this year 22 percent below average. The most active third quarter of the past ten years was 2008, in which 11 events occurred. The quietest third quarters of the past decade came in 2007, 2012, and 2014, all of which had six PCS-designated catastrophe events.

The largest catastrophe event of the third quarter — a mid-August wind and thunderstorm event that struck Maryland, Michigan, and New York — caused slightly more than $500 million in insured losses and accounted for approximately 40 percent of the quarter’s insured losses. No other events exceeded the resurvey threshold of $250 million.

Q3 2014 U.S. Catastrophe Activity

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