The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate, we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. To help readers understand how insurance affects their finances, we have licensed insurance professionals on staff who have spent a combined 47 years in the auto, home and life insurance industries. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation of . Our content is backed by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed entity (NPN: 19966249). For more information, please see our .
Hurricane season is recognized as the period between June and November, when hurricanes are most likely to form in the Atlantic Ocean. Although hurricanes are relatively common, experts are predicting that the 2022 hurricane season could see more severe storms than in years past.
Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting six to 10 hurricanes, and three to six major hurricanes during the 2022 season, due to La Niña and warming ocean temperatures. For comparison, there were 21 named storms and seven hurricanes, including only four major hurricanes during the 2021 hurricane season.
Hurricane facts and statistics in 2022
Most hurricanes occur in the U.S. during the official season. But while hurricanes are expected, the staggering statistics around these storms can be eye-opening. Here are some hurricane statistics to be aware of:
- Between 2019 and 2021, there have been 56 weather and climate disasters, including hurricanes, with losses greater than $1 billion. (NOAA)
- Hurricane Katrina is the most expensive hurricane in recent history, with approximately $161 billion in damage. Hurricane Harvey is the second most expensive storm, with damages totaling $125 billion. (NOAA)
- There have been 310 billion-dollar weather disasters in the U.S. recorded between 1980 and 2021. Hurricanes have caused the most damage and the most fatalities. (NOAA)
- All hurricanes recorded between 1980 and 2021 have resulted in a collective $1.1 trillion in damage. Each storm has averaged $20.5 billion in damage. (NOAA)
- In 2021, the most severe hurricane was Hurricane Laura, a category 4 storm that made landfall in southwestern Louisiana. The damage totaled $19 billion. (NOAA)
- Data shows that 2020 was the fourth consecutive year that the U.S. saw slow-moving tropical cyclones, which produced heavier rainfall than normal and damaging floods. (NOAA)
- The 2017 hurricane season was one of the worst on record, in terms of storm severity damage, with Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. (NOAA)
- Hurricane Irma sustained wind speeds of 185 mph, making it the strongest storm recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. It was a category 5 hurricane for three consecutive days, the longest of any storm to maintain that intensity since 1932. (NOAA)
- Hurricane Maria had the most fatalities of any hurricane in 2017, with more than 2,900 deaths. It’s also one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history. (NOAA)
What is hurricane insurance?
Standard home insurance policies protect the physical structure of your home and personal belongings against heavy rain and high winds. However, regular home insurance doesn’t usually cover damage from hurricanes. In some areas, home insurance companies will cover your home for hurricanes, but you will have to pay a higher hurricane deductible in the event of covered losses caused by hurricanes. Or, rather than selling standalone hurricane insurance, home insurance companies often also offer other types of coverage that can protect your home against hurricane damage.
Traditional HO-3 and HO-5 home insurance policies exclude coverage for flooding, even if the damage is caused by a natural disaster, like a hurricane. If you live in an area where hurricanes are common, having a flood insurance policy is a good investment.
Flood insurance provides coverage for your dwelling and personal belongings if they are damaged in a flood event. Most flood insurance policies are issued by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but some companies offer private flood insurance.
Even if you are not concerned about flood damage from a hurricane, it’s important to be aware of the risks. Here are a few data points about flooding:
- Flooding is the most common and most expensive natural disaster in the U.S. An estimated 90% of all natural disasters in the country involve flooding. (Triple-I)
- Many homeowners are not aware that their home could sustain flood damage. More than 20% of NFIP claims are filed from people who live outside of high-risk flood areas. These homeowners receive more than 33% of disaster assistance for flooding. (FEMA)
The cost of flood insurance depends on a variety of factors, including the location of your home, the flood zone, the size of the structure and your deductible. You can get an insurance quote to see how much your flood insurance will cost. If you are looking for the cheapest insurance, consider getting quotes from private carriers and the NFIP to find the lowest rate.
Keep in mind that most flood insurance policies have a waiting period before they become effective (30 days for NFIP-backed policies) and it is unlikely you will be able to get flood insurance once a storm is predicted or on the way. Flood insurance policies are also typically paid up front in full, rather than in installments.
Depending on your location, you might also consider windstorm insurance, which provides additional protection for wind-related damage from hurricanes and other storms, like tornadoes and derechos. Much like flood insurance, windstorm insurance may be required if your home is located in a very high-risk zone.
Adding windstorm insurance to your insurance portfolio can be very beneficial if you live in an area that experiences hurricanes. Even smaller category 2 and category 3 storms can reach extremely high winds that can easily cause damage to your home. Here are a few facts about windstorms:
- Hurricane Ida was the strongest hurricane recorded in the U.S. in 2021. The category 4 storm hit Louisiana with maximum sustained wind speeds of 150 mph. (NWS)
- A category 1 storm, the weakest hurricane classification, can sustain winds of 74 to 95 mph. That’s enough force to knock down trees and power lines, and cause damage to vinyl siding and roofs. (NWS)
Hurricane impacts over the years
Before the 2022 hurricane season arrived, experts predicted that there could be more storms than in years past. However, historical data shows that the number of hurricanes recorded in a single year can fluctuate greatly. In the table below, you can see the number of hurricanes each year from 2010 to 2021:
|Year||Number of Hurricanes|
Hurricane safety is important for all homeowners living in a hurricane zone. Hurricane preparedness can save lives and reduce the risk of extensive property damage. Here are some resources that can help you prepare for a hurricane and clean up after a storm:
- Hurricane Preparedness (Red Cross)
- What to Do Before the Tropical Storm or Hurricane (NWS)
- Tips to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season (FEMA)
- How to Prepare for a Hurricane (Ready.gov)
- Hurricane Survival Guide: Things to Do During and After the Storm (Travelers Insurance)
- Proper Emergency Kit Essential to Hurricane Preparedness (FEMA)
- What Do Before/ During/ After the Storm (NWS)
- After a Hurricane (NWS)
- Hurricanes and tropical cyclones (Habitat for Humanity)
- How to Clean Up Safely After a Hurricane (American Family Insurance)
- How to keep safe during a hurricane (Triple-I)