The latest LexisNexis Home Trends report is out and it shows that last year broke new records in terms of weather-related losses to properties. Moreover, more than half of all catastrophic claims for 2018 were made in just four states – California, Colorado, Florida and North Carolina.
Last year saw a 17% increase in the severity of catastrophic claims among insurers in the last year, prompted by hurricanes, wildfires and hail, the study found. Some of the biggest weather-related events in 2018 included Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael, plus the California wildfires.
Catastrophe claims comprised more than 30% of all peril claims in 2018, the LexisNexis study shows.
“In the context of increased volatility and severity of weather-related events, this year’s report provides key insight into alarming by-peril trends,” said George Hosfield, senior director of home insurance at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “It is extremely important for home insurers to stay informed of the challenges outlined in this report, especially the volatile and dynamic nature of weather-related loss trends in recent years.”
Fire losses have continued to rise since 2012. Fire losses accounted for nearly 40% of catastrophe claims in 2018, the highest level in a decade.
Last year also marked the worst year on record for wind severity, up 15%. The increase was blamed on hurricane devastation in North Carolina and Florida. September 2018 proved to be 17 times costlier than a typical September in North Carolina due to Hurricane Florence.
Hail also caused plenty of damage in 2018. Colorado had the highest costs in losses due to hail, but Texas continued to have the highest number of hail claims (comprising 29% of its total claim volume).