2019 was an eventful year, complete with powerful hurricanes, tornadoes, hailstorms, floods, earthquakes and wildfires. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there have been at least 14 events with losses exceeding $1 billion in the United States alone—more than double the annual adjusted average (from 1980 to 2018) of 6.5 events per year.[1]

But the impact of a hurricane doesn’t end with the last drop of rain—nor does a wildfire’s as the last ember flickers out. To that end, it’s essential to consider the lasting impact of a natural disaster as part of the preparation process.

Natural disasters affect insurance companies which do their best to understand a home’s risk; reinsurance companies who grapple with aggregate risk; banks and mortgage companies who face risk to assets and find challenges ensuring customers have immediate access to local branches; the real estate industry which sees pricing pressure; and homeowners, families and businesses who do their best to just make it through in one piece.

The 2019 Natural Hazard Report highlights the disasters that occurred last year and looks back at those within the past decade. New this year, it evaluates:

  1. The economic impact of previous years’ natural disasters on mortgage and property markets and what that indicates about 2019’s recovery efforts.
  2. The financial impact of catastrophes which occurred in the past calendar year both in the United States and worldwide.
  3. The overall impact on residences, including counts of homes damaged or destroyed in the affected areas and the people who weathered the storm.

Understanding the past is critical to contending with the risk of the future. Gain more insights and read the 2019 Natural Hazard Report.

[1]U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2019),” NOAA, National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)