The high cost of winter storms
Here in New England, insurance companies are busy fielding calls and claims related to snow, wind and water damage while meteorologists look to the next seven days. We're sorry to say that there is probably more snow in our immediate future - a pair of systems may pass through from Friday through Groundhog Day. The weekend snow is expected to be a few inches at most but weather watchers are watching Monday's patterns with mild concern. To stay up on breaking reports, we've compiled a New England weather list on Twitter that you can follow and subscribe to - Twitter is very interesting for breaking news.
Deirdre Fernandes of the Boston Globe reports that common claims for winter storms include car accidents, damage from fallen tree limbs, burst pipes, roof damage, flooding and fires caused by portable heaters.
"Powerful winter storms have occurred frequently in recent years and they have triggered more insurance claims at higher costs across the country. Last year, winter weather was blamed for 15 percent of automobile, home, and business insurance claims in the United States, more than double the 20-year average of 6.7 percent, according to the Insurance Information Institute, an industry group based in New York City."
See also: New Englanders Facing Snowy ‘Big Dig’ After Blizzard for more on the storm damage.
One of the big topics in the both consumer and trade media is the forecasting -- Insurance Journal looks at new research on how "crying wolf" in bad weather warning erodes public confidence and Catherine McDonald posts at the new reality of weather risk at Risk Management Monitor.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, "Winter storms caused an estimated $2.3 billion in insured losses in 2014, up from $1.9 billion in 2013, according to reports from Munich Re. From 1994 to 2013 winter storms resulted in about $27 billion in insured catastrophe losses (in 2013 dollars), or more than $1 billion a year on average, according to Property Claim Services (PCS)."
III has put this in further context in a Winter Storms fact page that includes a series of charts and graphs about catastrophe losses in 2014, as well as charts encompassing 10 year analyses and more.