U.S. insured losses during the first nine months of 2014 fell “well short” of the 10-year average. But major events still caused some pain, and catastrophe losses in the country climbed by double-digits compared to the same period in 2013, according to a new report from Verisk Insurance Solutions.

Specifically, U.S., catastrophe losses surpassed $13.6 billion from January through September, 2014, and doesn’t even include final estimates for a late-September wind and thunderstorm event in Maryland, Michigan and New York, Verisk noted. While the number isn’t final, it’s already a 13.2 percent hike over the same period in 2013.

Still, the country faced 26 catastrophe events over the nine-month period, exactly the same amount a year ago, according to the report. That’s also close to the 10-year average of 26.3 events. U.S. catastrophe losses dropped a gigantic 27 percent compared to the 10-year average of $18.7 billion.

Overall, North American catastrophe activity caused more than $14 billion in insured losses so far this year, Verisk Insurance Solutions aid. Most obviously came from the U.S., though Canada rounded out the difference in what has been its best period in years. As Verisk noted, Canadian loss frequency and severity dropped in a big way during the first nine months of 2014, hitting only $700 million Canadian. That’s down nearly 80 percent from last year’s record number, Verisk said, and the quietest catastrophe year since at least 2009.

Other data from the Verisk report:

  • 38 states fasted catastrophe activity so far in 2014. Texas got hit the worst, with $1.9 billion as of the first half of 2014, Verisk said. Nebraska followed at $1.2 billion, with Illinois and Pennsylvania following each at $1.1 billion.
  • Personal losses encompassed 61 percent of all catastrophe losses in the first nine months of 2014. That’s down from 63 percent in the first half of 2014.
  • Commercial losses are now at 20 percent of all catastrophe losses for the year, versus 17 percent in the first six months of 2014.
  • In the third quarter, Property Claim Services (a division of Verisk Analytics) counted six catastrophe events in the U.S., causing $1.2 billion in insured losses. Verisk said that this was the quietest third quarter in the last 10 years.

The big Aug. 27-30 earthquake in Napa Valley (American Canyon) was a highlight so far this year in terms of large catastrophe events. It hit, however, where there is a low penetration of earthquake insurance, Verisk said. As a result, much of the insured losses came from commercial policies. While many residents were effected, few of their losses got factored into the loss estimate for the event, as more than 90 percent of Napa-area residents lack insurance from the California Earthquake Authority, Verisk said.

Source: Verisk Insurance Solutions

Topics Catastrophe USA Profit Loss Canada