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NEW YORK, May 7, 2020—Severe convective storms—tornadoes, hail, thunderstorms with lightning, and straight-line winds—are among the biggest threats to life and property in the U.S., according to a white paper released today by the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).
“Convective storms were among the costliest natural catastrophes for insurers in 2019, and the start of this year’s tornado season in March coincided with the shutdown of much of the U.S. economy due to the pandemic. Yet insurers have continued to be the nation’s financial first responders, sending disaster response teams and claims professionals into multiple states. The insurance industry is also investing in resilience initiatives which will protect individuals and communities from these storms in the future,” said Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Triple-I.
The three months between March and May are traditionally when the most tornadoes have formed and touched down in the U.S.
“2019 was the fourth straight year in which convective storm-caused insurance payouts topped $20 billion globally, with most of them driven by U.S. hail and wind outbreaks,” said Jeff Dunsavage, Senior Research Analyst, Triple-I, and author of Severe Convective Storms: Evolving risks call for innovation to reduce costs, drive resilience. The $20 billion number he cited was from an Aon study.
Tornadoes killed 40 Americans in April 2020, the deadliest month since May 2013, according to the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center. Thirty-two of the 40 fatalities occurred on either Easter Sunday, April 12, or Monday, April 13, 2020 in four states: Mississippi (12 individuals), South Carolina (9), Georgia (8), and Tennessee (3).
Population growth and economic development have contributed to the significant convective storm-caused insurance payouts, the Triple-I’s white paper says. At the same time, research suggests the geography, frequency and intensity of these storms also may be changing. The Triple-I’s white paper examines these trends and how insurers, risk managers, individuals and businesses are responding to mitigate the risks and improve community resilience through:
The Triple-I’s paper notes the successful work done by insurance industry-funded groups, such as the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) and the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s Geospatial Intelligence Center (GIC) when it comes to developing better building standards and advanced early damage detection systems, respectively.
Videos: Triple-I’s Jeff Dunsavage discusses Severe Convective Storms; Tornado Safety Tips
Facts and Statistics: Tornadoes and Thunderstorms
Article: Protecting You and Your Family In Case of A Tornado
Triple-I Blog: 2020 Worst Tornado Year in Almost A Decade
THE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.
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