Insurers Brace For Another Year Of Natural Disasters

Property and casualty insurers are bracing for another year of record losses from catastrophic hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, flooding, and other natural disasters already unfolding.

Extreme events in fact are no longer rare, leaving insurers to ponder whether the losses can ever be stemmed or if the government can provide greater protection in both bracing for catastrophes and contributing financially.

‘I’ve been in the business over 30 years and we’ve always had big catastrophes,’ said Steve Clarke, vice president, Government Relations for Verisk Analytics Inc., a multinational data analytics and risk assessment firm based in Jersey City, New Jersey.

‘But there’s been a shift in extreme events, most notably in the last decade. Losses have increased dramatically. Once the exception, the billion-dollar catastrophe appears to becoming more the norm.’

In an online presentation for insurers this week, Verisk officials noted that last year was the sixth consecutive year of above average in number and intensity of hurricanes. And another is in the making.

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