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2015-04-19
www.stormsecuritymag.com

U.S. Risk Exposure Rises to $90 trillion

         The vulnerability to hurricanes and other coastal hazards in the United States continues to rise because of increasing property values and concentrations of property values along the coast, according to Karen Clark & Co. (KCC), Boston, MA. Of the $90 trillion in total U.S. property exposure, more than $16 trillion is in the first tier of Gulf and Atlantic coastal counties, an increase from $14.5 trillion in 2012, it states in a report, “Increasing Concentrations of Property Values and Catastrophe Risk in the U.S.”, released in April.

         For hurricanes, the most likely regions for a100-year event, such as a Category 5 hurricane with peak winds of 165 mph at landfall, are Texas, the Gulf coast and South Florida. Specifically in Florida, a 100-year hurricane making a direct hit on downtown Miami would cause more than $250 billion in insured losses today, the report states. If the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 occurred this year, it adds, the insured losses would be around $125 billion. “That hurricane was a Category 4 storm—a Category 5 hurricane would likely cause twice the losses,” it states.

         A 100-year hurricane event in the Northeast would be similar to the 1938 Great New England Hurricane that made landfall near Westhampton, NY, on Long Island. That storm today would cause insured losses of about $40 billion. If the storm track moved to the west so that landfall is over western Long Island, it would cause more than $100 billion in insured losses, the report states.

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