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Events rise, losses fall: Q3 2015 catastrophe review

By Visualize Editor October 1, 2015

For the first nine months of 2015, insured losses from catastrophe events in North America topped $12.6 billion, caused by 30 PCS-designated events in the United States and three in Canada. North American nine-month losses fell 19 percent year over year, while the number of events Property Claim Services® (PCS®) designated climbed 10 percent. Without a landfalling hurricane, the third quarter was particularly quiet—$2.3 billion in insured losses from five events in the United States and two in Canada.

PCS designated five U.S. catastrophe events in the third quarter of 2015, resulting in $1.9 billion in insured losses. Frequency fell slightly from six in the third quarter of 2014, and severity was off a modest 9.5 percent year over year. No third-quarter events in the United States reached the $1 billion threshold, although one event has a preliminary estimate of more than $900 million, with the resurvey process still open. Last year, no third- quarter events ultimately reached loss estimates of at least $1 billion.

As the graph illustrates, PCS designated 30 U.S. catastrophe events in the first nine months of 2015, resulting in $12.2 billion in insured losses. While frequency climbed 15 percent from the first nine months of 2014, severity fell 18 percent from $14.8 billion. The trend toward increasing numbers of smaller events continues. Last year’s nine-month total was pushed higher by five events, each of which sustained at least $1 billion in insured losses. This year, only three have attained that level, with a third-quarter wildfire event close.

Nine-Months 2015 PCS-Designated Events and Insured Losses

Nine-Months 2015 PCS-designated catastrophe events and insured losses