Fact file: North Carolina hurricane insurance

May 2020

  • Five of the top 10 most costly hurricanes to hit the United States did damage in North Carolina: Hurricanes Irma and Harvey in 2017, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Hurricane Michael in 2018 and Hurricane Charley in 2004. (See chart.)
  • North Carolina was also battered by Hurricane Floyd, which caused $1.4 billion in insured losses in the state in 1999 (about $2.1 billion in 2019 dollars). These losses do not include flood damage covered under the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program.
  • There were 140,107 flood insurance policies in North Carolina in 2018. Standard homeowners policies typically do not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is covered by the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • In North Carolina about 264,264 single-family homes were at risk for storm surge damage from hurricanes up to Category 5 strength in 2019, according to CoreLogic, Inc. These homes would cost $58 billion to completely rebuild, including labor and materials.
  • Of the 11 most hurricane-prone counties in the U.S., five are in Louisiana, three are in Florida and two are in North Carolina, according to a study by the U.S. Census (see chart).
  • The number of people living in coastal areas in North Carolina increased by 508,000 people or 114.4 percent, from 1960 to 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • North Carolina has two residual market plans that act as a market of last resort for residential and commercial property insurance in the state. The North Carolina Joint Underwriters Association (NCJUA) was created in 1969 to make basic and broad property insurance available to those unable to buy coverage through the standard insurance market. The plan, known as a FAIR Plan, covers the entire state except those barrier islands adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. The North Carolina Insurance Underwriting Association (the state’s Beach Plan), also created in 1969, provides windstorm and hail coverage as well as homeowners policies for properties located in the state’s beach and coastal area.
  • As of fiscal year 2018, North Carolina’s beach and windstorm plan reported a total of 209,191 policies up from 94,612 policies reported at the end of 2004. Total exposure to loss under the plan increased to $75.0 billion in fiscal year 2018 from $31.6 billion in 2004 – an increase of 143 percent.
  • The North Carolina JUA/IUA plans have accessed the capital markets four times (2009-2011 and 2013) to provide them with additional reinsurance protection in the event of a hurricane. The NCIUA/NCJUA’s risk financing program provides approximately $3.3 billion in protection for the benefit of North Carolinians.

Top 10 Writers Of Commercial Insurance In North Carolina By Direct Premiums Written, 2019 (1)

 

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written ($000) Market share
1 Travelers Companies Inc. $472,254 6.1%
2 Liberty Mutual 390,864 5.0
3 Chubb 370,311 4.8
4 Zurich 318,849 4.1
5 Nationwide Mutual Group 271,113 3.5
6 Hartford Financial Services 262,624 3.4
7 American International Group (AIG) 229,240 3.0
8 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 210,952 2.7
9 The Cincinnati Insurance Cos. 201,288 2.6
10 Erie Insurance Group 197,080 2.5

(1) Before reinsurance transactions.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

View Archived Tables

Top 10 Writers Of Homeowners Insurance In North Carolina By Direct Premiums Written, 2019 (1)

 

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written ($000) Market share
1 State Farm $488,636 16.9%
2 North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance Group 351,834 12.2
3 Nationwide Mutual Group 271,396 9.4
4 USAA Insurance Group 257,066 8.9
5 Allstate Corp. 187,671 6.5
6 Erie Insurance Group 161,876 5.6
7 Travelers Companies Inc. 102,753 3.6
8 Liberty Mutual 100,365 3.5
9 Auto-Owners Insurance Co. 91,442 3.2
10 American Family Insurance Group 64,125 2.2

(1) Before reinsurance transactions.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

View Archived Tables

Top 10 Writers Of Private Passenger Auto Insurance In North Carolina By Direct Premiums Written, 2019 (1)

 

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written ($000) Market share
1 Travelers Companies Inc. $441,198 6.1%
2 Liberty Mutual 382,221 5.3
3 Chubb 297,679 4.1
4 Zurich 290,543 4.0
5 Nationwide Mutual Group 273,820 3.8
6 American International Group (AIG) 234,875 3.3
7 Hartford Financial Services 227,256 3.2
8 The Cincinnati Insurance Cos. 196,669 2.7
9 Erie Insurance Group 190,999 2.7
10 Auto-Owners Insurance Co. 181,352 2.5

(1) Before reinsurance transactions.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

View Archived Tables

Top 10 Costliest Hurricanes In The United States (1)

($ millions)

        Estimated insured loss
Rank Date Location Hurricane Dollars when occurred In 2019 dollars (2)
1 Aug. 25-30, 2005 AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, TN Hurricane Katrina $41,100 $52,828
2 Sep. 19-22, 2017 PR, USVI Hurrican Maria (3) 25,000-30,000 26,100-31,300
3 Sep. 6-12, 2017 AL, FL, GA, NC, PR, SC, UV Hurricane Irma (3) 25,000-30,000 26,100-31,300
4 Aug. 25-Sep. 1, 2017 AL, LA, MS, NC, TN, TX Hurricane Harvey (3) 18,000-20,000 18,800-20,800
5 Oct. 28-31, 2012 CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH,
NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, VT, WV
Hurricane Sandy 18,750 21,065
6 Aug. 24-26, 1992 FL, LA Hurricane Andrew 15,500 25,867
7 Sep. 12-14, 2008 AR, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, OH, PA, TX Hurricane Ike 12,500 20,861
8 Oct. 10-12, 2018 AL, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA Hurricane Michael 9,000-12,000 9,200-12,200
9 Oct. 24, 2005 FL Hurricane Wilma 10,300 13,239
10 Aug. 13-14, 2004 FL, NC, SC Hurricane Charley 7,475 9,906

(1) Property losses only. Excludes flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program. Ranked on dollars when occurred. As of April 17,2020.
(2) Adjusted for inflation through 2019 by the Insurance Information Institute using the GDP implicit price deflator.
(3) Insurance Information Institute estimate based on data from catastrophe risk modelers, reinsurance companies, the Property Claims Services unit of Verisk Analytics, the Federal Emergency Management Agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. These estimates are preliminary because the organizations involved periodically resurvey the events, and the severity of losses and other factors create a high level of uncertainty surrounding the ultimate loss figures.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, catastrophe risk modelers, reinsurance companies, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, the Property Claim Services® (PCS®) unit of ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® company, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

View Archived Tables

Storm Surge Risk By State By Number Of Single-Family Homes and Reconstruction Value, 2019 (1)

 

    Number of single-family homes at risk by storm category (2)
Rank State Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Category 5
1 Florida  358,902 1,085,288 1,788,071 2,338,348 2,830,201
2 Louisiana  74,792 213,442 637,354 765,612 839,321
3 Texas  40,633 121,010 259,993 393,837 555,569
4 New Jersey  94,083 276,872 381,551 471,143 (3)
5 New York  76,797 227,962 351,783 467,398 (3)
6 Virginia  23,321 89,387 243,401 365,134 409,259
7 South Carolina  37,155 130,565 216,551 304,442 359,024
8 North Carolina  33,200 97,158 163,632 213,922 264,264
9 Massachusetts  9,310 45,042 101,171 157,311 (3)
10 Georgia  9,863 54,777 112,747 151,627 163,191
11 Maryland  16,473 58,141 96,774 124,684 (3)
12 Mississippi  9,005 29,381 60,167 90,360 102,199
13 Pennsylvania  924 21,406 58,659 85,480 (3)
14 Connecticut  6,874 29,194 47,292 68,022 (3)
15 Alabama  5,777 15,596 29,234 41,164 54,586
16 Delaware  11,027 31,329 49,517 67,320 (3)
17 Rhode Island  1,391 7,423 16,513 25,354 (3)
18 Maine  5,846 8,300 12,336 18,824 (3)
19 New Hampshire  186 3,999 7,069 9,315 (3)
  Total homes potentially affected 815,559 2,546,272 4,633,815 6,158,577 7,071,745
    Reconstruction cost value of single-family homes at risk (4) ($ millions)
Rank State Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Category 5
1 Florida $73,255.3 $225,758.2 $372,102.5 $482,986.8 $581,641.5
2 New York  30,075.0 94,513.9 145,839.3 194,358.1 (3)
3 Louisiana  16,343.1 47,945.9 151,667.9 182,479.3 200,785.2
4 New Jersey  27,035.0 84,599.0 119,106.5 149,676.0 (3)
5 Texas  7,399.5 22,434.1 50,758.8 80,141.0 112,087.7
6 Virginia  6,046.8 22,878.8 58,270.3 87,017.7 98,744.9
7 South Carolina  10,377.6 34,543.8 54,837.2 74,049.4 85,214.8
8 North Carolina  7,094.4 20,928.6 35,570.1 46,843.7 57,973.4
9 Massachusetts  2,381.6 12,625.7 28,897.8 46,442.6 (3)
10 Georgia  2,980.9 14,662.9 27,079.1 35,130.6 37,325.4
11 Maryland  4,046.8 13,834.2 23,084.4 29,768.4 (3)
12 Connecticut  2,429.5 9,913.0 15,895.6 22,659.2 (3)
13 Mississippi  1,947.1 6,186.9 12,375.8 18,241.7 20,554.7
14 Pennsylvania  214.4 5,013.7 14,187.6 20,823.0 (3)
15 Delaware  3,159.6 8,797.1 14,026.2 19,121.3 (3)
16 Alabama  1,143.4 2,917.3 5,387.9 7,534.0 9,888.1
17 Rhode Island  351.3 2,039.2 4,669.2 7,321.1 (3)
18 Maine  1,294.4 1,970.7 3,031.9 4,738.2 (3)
19 New Hampshire  33.9 693.9 1,395.2 1,988.6 (3)
  Total homes potentially affected $197,609.5 $632,257.0 $1,138,183.1 $1,511,320.6 $1,701,112.2

(1) The risk categories are cumulative and increase in value from Category 1 to Category 5. Category 1 represents the higher risk of damage from a weak hurricane; Category 5 includes Categories 1 to 4 and the low risk of damage from a Category 5 hurricane.
(2) Measured in units.
(3) Storm surge risk for Category 5 storms for homes on the northeastern Atlantic Coast is not shown due to the extremely low probability of a Category 5 storm affecting these areas.
(4) Represents the cost to completely rebuild including labor and materials by geographic location.

Source: CoreLogic®, a property data and analytics company.

View Archived Tables

Top Coastal Counties Most Frequently Hit By Hurricanes: 1960-2008

County  State Coastline region Number of
hurricanes
Percent change
in population,
1960-2008
Monroe County Florida Gulf of Mexico 15 50.8%
Lafourche Parish Louisiana Gulf of Mexico 14 67.2
Carteret County North Carolina Atlantic 14 104.3
Dare County North Carolina Atlantic 13 465.9
Hyde County North Carolina Atlantic 13 10.1
Jefferson Parish Louisiana Gulf of Mexico 12 108.9
Palm Beach County Florida Atlantic 12 454.7
Miami-Dade County Florida Atlantic 11 156.5
St. Bernard Parish Louisiana Gulf of Mexico 11 17.2
Cameron Parish Louisiana Gulf of Mexico 11 4.8
Terrebonne Parish Louisiana Gulf of Mexico  11 78.7

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Decennial Census of Population and Housing: 1960 to 2000; Population Estimates Program: 2008.

 

Other Resources

I.I.I. Facts & Stats: Flood Insurance

I.I.I. Facts & Stats: Hurricanes

I.I.I. Issues Updates: Catastrophes

I.I.I. Issues Updates: Hurricane and Windstorm Deductibles

Back to top