Monday, July 8, 2013

Do you know the Top 10 Costliest U.S. Natural Disasters from 1980-2010?

Before Superstorm Sandy, the top 10 costliest U.S. natural disasters between 1980 and 2010 caused more than $501.1 billion in damage and up to 22,240 deaths, according to the National Weather Service and the Insurance Information Institute. These events impacted both coasts and most parts in between. 

There have been many ongoing pleas for years now to convert the federal flood insurance program into a national catastrophic insurance program which would cover all natural disasters including wildfires, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and ice storms. Of course, the countervailing argument points out the paucity of coverage under the national flood program as well as the fact that this federal program is essentially bankrupt from year to year.

·         Hurricane Katrina, 2005
Biggest impact:  Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi
Damage:  $145 billion
Deaths:  1,833

·         Drought and Heat Wave, 1988
Biggest impact:  Central and Eastern U.S.
Damage:  $76.4 billion
Deaths:  5,000 to 10,000

·         Northridge Earthquake, 1994
Biggest impact:  California
Damage:  $67 billion
Deaths:  60

·         Drought and Heat Wave, 1980
Biggest impact:  Central and Eastern U.S.
Damage:  $54.8 billion
Deaths:  10,000

·         Hurricane Andrew, 1992
Biggest impact:  Florida, Louisiana
Damage:  43.5 billion
Deaths:  61

·         Midwestern Floods, 1993
Biggest impact:  Central U.S.
Damage:  $32.8 billion
Deaths:  48

·         Hurricane Ike, 2008
Biggest impact:  Louisiana, Texas
Damage:  $28.4 billion
Deaths:  112

·         Hurricane Wilma, 2005
Biggest impact:  Florida
Damage:  $18.6 billion
Deaths:  35

·         Hurricane Charley, 2006
Biggest impact:  Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina
Damage:  $17.9 billion
Deaths:  35

·         Hurricane Ivan, 2004
Biggest impact:  Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Texas
Damage:  $16.7 billion

Deaths:  57

Given the losses we've already suffered over the last few decades and the likelihood that these will continue or even escalate, perhaps it is time to roll up our sleeves and finally make a national catastrophe policy a reality?

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