Aileen (also known as Sebastian) was the first named storm of the European windstorm season, bringing a healthy dose of what could be to come. Still, uncertainty pervades the 2017-18 season. Will it be benign, like past seasons, or will we see a higher frequency and severity of storms?
A Paras Vineyards building burns in the Napa area Oct. 10, 2017 (courtesy of Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)
This fall, it seems that we can’t catch a break from natural catastrophes and extreme weather. While many people have been eyeing the record-setting hurricanes we’ve seen over the last few months, wildfires in the West are rapidly competing for our attention. Northern California is the latest area to be hit by wildfires, and as of Thursday, they’ve burned for five days straight, with the worst occurring in Napa and Sonoma counties.
An abandoned boat takes on water on the Mississippi Gulf Coast - Image courtesy of NY Post
Hurricane Nate made landfall Saturday night as a Category 1 hurricane, packing winds of 85 MPH. Nate follows a slew of major storms, some of which have been historic. With record-setting floods and maximum sustained winds, these storms are a reminder that we need to stay prepared, and remain alert once an event is forecasted.
Hurricane Maria devastation, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal
Hurricane Maria barreled into Puerto Rico on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane and was the most powerful storm the island has seen in nearly a century. Earlier in the week, Maria hit the Caribbean island of Dominica as a Category 5 hurricane. Maria is the fourth major hurricane (Category 3 or more) this season and on track with NOAA’s predictions. While four major hurricanes should not come as a surprise, what has been surprising is how close together they have occurred. Maria comes on the heels of Harvey, Irma, and Jose, making it imperative that insurers work to stay ahead of these events and be prepared in a time of extreme weather uncertainty.
Just weeks after Hurricane Harvey devastated much of Texas and Louisiana, causing record-breaking floods and rampant destruction, we’re already preparing for Hurricane Irma. The storm is projected to make landfall in Florida this weekend as at least a Category 4 hurricane. Based on wind speed, Irma is among the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record. And, with severe damages in the Caribbean already, Irma will be one to watch very closely. In a time of chaos and uncertainty, we must all work together—insurance carriers, commercial providers, government, and scientists alike—to share as much information as we can to protect policyholders and portfolios. With this in mind, we’ve created a list of SpatialKey-specific resources as well as our top external resources:
Severe flooding in Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey (businessinsider.com)
Since progressing to Category 4 strength over the weekend, Hurricane Harvey has regressed back into a tropical storm. As predicted, rainfall and flooding have taken over as the main threats from Harvey, making this storm far from finished.
The risk of wildfire is unlike any other, as today, 90 percent are caused by humans. That’s an alarming amount, considering all it would take is one inexperienced hiker failing to properly extinguish their campfire to scorch an entire mountain.
Satellite image of Tropical Storm Cindy, courtesy of hattyphoto
With an above-average 11 to 17 named storms predicted this hurricane season, members of the P&C insurance industry need to be fully equipped to weather the storms. We know it only takes one bad storm to impact a nation’s economy for months, even years. Hurricane Matthew (2016) was the first hurricane to reach Category 5 since 2007, causing $10 billion worth of damage in the U.S. and displacing thousands. Not only that, it was the 13th billion-dollar weather disaster in the U.S. last year.
With the NFIP $24.1 billion in debt, the floodgates are opening to an epic, never-before-seen private flood insurance market. Now more than ever, underwriting and risk selection are not only paramount, but clear areas for competitive advantage as the market heats up.
Hail is scary and it hits home for many of us. SpatialKey’s home state of Colorado is no exception to hail risk. Our downtown Denver headquarters reside in a heavy hail risk zone—and so do the homes of many SpatialKey team members.
HazardHub data shows hail risk at SpatialKey headquarters in downtown Denver