Catastrophic weather events caused 39 percent of homeowners insurance claims in 2020—the highest percentage in the last six years, according to LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ annual Home Trends Report.

Loss costs in 2020 also increased across all perils by 6 percent year-over-year, following the upward trend of the last six years, which will likely continue through 2021, LexisNexis said.

Highlights from the report:

  • COVID had a significant impact on home insurers in 2020. Loss cost due to theft was down significantly in 2020 (25 percent), which the report attributed to more people working from home and increased adoption of smarthome security devices. The liability peril saw a 48 percent severity drop year-over-year and a 53 percent decrease in loss costs, likely due to COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing measures, which also led to court closures and limited access to legal representation.
  • Thanks to a record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season that saw 11 hurricanes make landfall on the continental U.S., last year marked the largest wind loss cost recorded in the last six years—up 63 percent from 2019. Wind frequency increased by 42 percent.
  • Loss cost for catastrophe claims was the highest since 2017, with 87.9 percent of catastrophe losses from the wind and hail perils.
  • Human-caused wildfires increased in 2020, with 10,122,336 million acres burned—that’s 2.3 million acres above the 10-year annual average and more than double the acreage burned in 2019.
  • By state, Colorado and Nebraska ranked highest in loss cost over the six-year period from 2015 to 2020, while West Virginia and Maine ranked lowest. Louisiana had the highest loss cost in the nation in 2020 due to a devastating hurricane season.