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December 2018 preview: Historical catastrophe activity

By Ted Gregory  |  December 5, 2018

As the Atlantic hurricane season comes to an end, we look to December and examine historical catastrophe trends for the month.

Wildfire in the news

Wildfire has been in the news lately, as it was in December 2017. The Thomas Fire in California in 2017 was the largest December event from 2018 through 2017—and the first California wildfire that PCS® designated as a catastrophe during the same time period. That event caused nearly $2.2 billion in estimated insured losses, with approximately 22,800 claims.

Overall, there have been 11 catastrophes in December during the past decade. Two of those were winter storms, six were wind and thunderstorm events, and three were wildland fires. In total, these 11 catastrophes resulted in losses of approximately $4.4 billion from approximately 316,100 claims.

In December of 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2016, there was minimal activity; and PCS designated no catastrophe events.

PCS Historical Data 2008-2017.PNG

Ted Gregory is director of operations for PCS at Verisk. You can contact Ted at