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June 2020 preview: Historical catastrophe activity

By Ted Gregory  |  June 8, 2020

The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and, according to forecasters, it’s predicted to have above-normal activity. In fact, we’ve already had our first named storm, Tropical Storm Arthur, before Memorial Day. Tropical Storm Arthur did not have any significant effects on the U.S. and did not receive a PCS catastrophe designation.

The Colorado State University forecasting team, headed by Dr. Phil Klotzbach, is predicting 16 named storms, including eight hurricanes—four of which could reach major hurricane strength. According to the forecast, there’s a 69 percent probability that at least one major hurricane (categories 3-5) could make landfall along the entire continental United States coastline. The probability for at least one major hurricane making landfall on the East Coast, including the Florida Peninsula, is 45 percent.

Over the last ten years, PCS® has designated 58 catastrophes in the month of June, which caused 3.3 million claims and an estimated $24.3 billion in insured losses. The catastrophes included 53 wind and thunderstorm events that resulted in more than $23.2 billion in insured losses. There were also three wildland fire events totaling about 15,500 claims and more than $893 million in insured losses. The remaining two catastrophes were tropical storms—one in 2012 and the other in 2015—which combined caused nearly 32,500 claims and an estimated $162.5 million in insured losses.

June 2018 was the most active June in the past ten years with nine designated catastrophes, including eight wind and thunderstorm events and one wildland fire. The most severe June of the last ten years was in 2012, which had an estimated $4.67 billion in insured losses from 799,000 claims.

Last June, PCS designated seven catastrophes, all of which were wind and thunderstorm events. Those catastrophes caused more than 134,000 claims and exceeded $1.3 billion in insured losses.

The following graph illustrates catastrophe activity for the month of June 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