Atlantic hurricane season officially begins next month, and researchers appear cautiously optimistic that the recent streak of relatively mild storm activity will continue. Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project released this year’s extended-range forecast of Atlantic seasonal hurricane activity, predicting slightly below-average activity in the Atlantic basin, with a forecast of 11 named storms, four hurricanes, and two major hurricanes.
That may not be as critical a determinant for how insurers and property owners will fare, however. In the Willis Re and Columbia University report Managing Severe Thunderstorm Risk, researchers determined the risk to U.S. property from thunderstorms is just as high as from hurricanes. Their review of Verisk Analytics loss statistics for 2003 to 2015 found the average annual loss from severe convective storms (which includes tornadoes and hailstorms) was $11.23 billion, compared to $11.28 billion from hurricanes. Over the past decade alone, severe convective storms posed the largest annual aggregated risk peril to the insurance industry.