Forecasters Predict 2018 to be an Above-Average Hurricane Year

Forecasters Predict 2018 to be an Above-Average Hurricane Year
2017 was the costliest Atlantic hurricane season in history, resulting in more than $215 billion in losses. The biggest storms of 2017 – Harvey, Irma, and Maria – were responsible for the majority of losses. To put this massive number into better perspective, the second costliest hurricane season recorded was in 1893 with approximately $185.6 billion in losses.
Certainly, after a record-breaking hurricane season in 2017, we’re going to get a break in 2018, right? Unfortunately, that’s not what the forecasts indicate.

Colorado State’s forecast is closely watched by the property and casualty insurance industry, and the forecasts so far predict that 2018 will be an above-average hurricane season. While it’s too early to tell if 2018 will be another record-breaking hurricane season, we need to be prepared for another active Atlantic hurricane season this year.

Why are forecasters predicting an above-average hurricane season for 2018?
Hurricanes thrive on the warm water above the equator as the air above the surface of the ocean absorbs heat and moisture. While the Atlantic Ocean has historically had cooler water, a number of factors have caused the water to become warmer. Warmer water leads to lower pressures, which results in an unstable atmosphere that is more conducive to hurricanes.

Wind shear is another ingredient that impacts the development of hurricanes. Wind shear refers to the wind direction and its height into the atmosphere. Because the El Nino/La Nina wind climate patterns are typically not released until summer, it’s too early to tell what the wind shear will be.

Based on the data that forecasters currently know, they are predicting 7 storms for 2018 with 3 major storms that could reach Category 3 or higher. In comparison, forecasters predicted 11 major storms for 2017 with 4 of them becoming major storms. In reality, there were 17 storms, 10 hurricanes, and 6 major systems in 2017.

How can insurance carriers prepare for an active hurricane season in 2018?
Considering the massive losses that the insurance industry had to absorb in 2017, it’s critical that insurance carriers are more prudent with underwriting in 2018 and going forward.

Conducting an in-person insurance inspection will help carriers to more accurately assess risk and make insureds aware of ways that they can improve their properties to withstand hurricane season. An insurance inspection can also reveal any gaps in coverage that insureds may have and identify new opportunities for insurance carriers to close these gaps.

Our team at Insurance Risk Services has been partnering with property and casualty insurance carriers for nearly 4 decades to provide them with the most accurate insurance inspection reports in the industry. Contact us to learn how you can use an insurance inspection to minimize your loss exposure in 2018.

We’re delighted to announce that Insurance Risk Services will rebrand to Davies in the near future.

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