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February 2020 preview: Historical catastrophe activity

By Ted Gregory  |  February 3, 2020

February can be an active month for catastrophes, with the threat of winter storms and wind and thunderstorm events. As we head into the new month, here’s a historical review of catastrophe activity in February.

Since 2010, PCS® has designated 31 catastrophes in the month of February, which resulted in an estimated $11.1 billion in insured losses and 1.68 million claims. The catastrophes included 14 winter storms that resulted in an estimated $6.2 billion in insured losses from about 931,200 claims. In addition, there were 16 wind and thunderstorm events totaling about 751,650 claims and more than $4.8 billion in insured losses. The remaining event was PCS CAT 93, which pertained to the explosion and fire at the Kleen Energy Systems plant in Connecticut in 2010.

In February 2019, PCS designated three catastrophes, all of which were wind and thunderstorm events. These events exceeded $1.1 billion in insured losses and 187,000 claims.

February 2017 was the most active February in the past ten years, with six designated catastrophes, all of which were wind and thunderstorm events and caused a combined total of nearly $2.1 billion in insured losses. The second most active year during this period was February 2015, with five designated catastrophes, which were all winter storms. Those five catastrophes caused an estimated total of more than $2.9 billion in insured losses. February 2017 and 2015 were also the most active in the last 20 years.

The following graph illustrates catastrophe activity for the month of February from 2010 to 2019 in terms of dollar losses and claim volumes.


Ted Gregory is director of operations for PCS at Verisk. You can contact Ted at tgregory@verisk.com.