2022 Hurricane Season Third Most Expensive to Date
The North Atlantic hurricane season—which lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30 annually—featured 14 named storms, eight of which reached hurricane strength, in 2022.
While this year’s hurricane season produced fewer storms than originally predicted, it was still the third most expensive hurricane season to date.
The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season remains the most expensive to date after Hurricane Katrina incurred $86 billion in insured losses and $175 billion in overall losses, both adjusted for inflation.
However, what made this year the third most expensive hurricane season was largely due to Hurricane Ian. Ian was the fifth strongest hurricane to ever hit the U.S. coastline. This accounted for an estimated $65 billion in insured losses and overall losses of around $110 billion.
Unusually dry air in higher layers of the atmosphere and temporarily cooler water temperatures in the tropical North Atlantic resulted in a calm first half of hurricane season. In fact, it was the first time since 1941 that the Atlantic Ocean had no named storms between July 3 and the end of August. However, the second half of the season picked up with Hurricane Ian in September and three additional hurricanes in November.
“2022 continues the trend of increasing losses from U.S. hurricanes in recent years,” said Ernst Rauch, chief climate scientist at Munich Re. “Additionally, just a single storm like Ian is enough to cause immense losses. This is not new, of course, but it is important. Because it is precisely hurricanes like Ian—very strong storms with extreme precipitation—that will occur more frequently in the future due to climate change.”
Hurricanes continue to be one of the biggest risk factors for insurers, as they can be active for several weeks and stretch across large areas, causing immense damage and losses.
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This article is intended for informational purposes only. © 2022 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.