A prediction issued last week by scientists at Colorado State University forecasts at least 19 named storms and nine hurricanes for the 2022 hurricane season, which officially begins June 1. The scientists predicted that four of the hurricanes will be Category 3 or higher. An average season is considered 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
Last year was the third most-active hurricane season on record, with 21 named storms and seven hurricanes, four of which were considered major, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 2021 was also the sixth consecutive above-normal hurricane season. Hurricanes cost $33 billion in property damage in the U.S. in 2021, according to the CoreLogic 2021 Climate Change Catastrophe Report.
As coastal residents gear up for yet another above-average hurricane season, agents should begin to prepare now to help their communities overcome catastrophe events.
"As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them," the CSU report said. "They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted."
Further, this year's hurricane season could be particularly damaging to homeowners and businesses. A majority of insured homeowners have not taken important steps to ensure their insurance coverage is keeping pace with rising inflation and increased building costs, which could leave policyholders underinsured if catastrophe strikes, according to a new survey from the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), conducted online by The Harris Poll.
Meanwhile, Selective Insurance announced the results of a January 2022 study which found that less than half of U.S. business owners have increased their business insurance policy limits to account for inflation.
Even as hurricane season kicks off, wildfire season is already well underway. Year-to-date acres burned in wildfires in the U.S. is approximately 70% above the 10-year average, according to the most recent National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook issuance. The Outlook predicts “above normal significant fire potential" for several areas of the U.S. into the summer.
Since 2000, wildfires in the U.S. have become 4 times larger and 3 times more frequent than the two decades before the turn of the century, according to Science Advances Vol. 8, No. 11. In 2021, wildfires cost $1.46 billion in property damage in the U.S., according to CoreLogic's report.
Agents can access additional information on catastrophe preparedness through the Big “I" Agents Council for Technology (ACT) disaster planning resources.