Trend of more frequent but less severe catastrophe events continues in Q3: PCS

by Artemis on October 21, 2015

The frequency of catastrophe events is on the rise across the U.S. and Canada while the severity of adverse weather events during the first nine months of 2015 declined year-on-year, according to Property Claim Services (PCS).

Insurance industry losses from catastrophe events in the U.S. and Canada reached $12.6 billion during the first nine months of the year, from 30 PCS-designated events.

Absent a landfall hurricane in the states during the third-quarter of 2015, the quarter was a particularly quiet one, with just five events in the U.S. and two in Canada resulting in North American insured losses of $2.3 billion.

However, despite insured losses from PCS-designated events during the first nine months of 2015 declining by 19%, when compared to the same period last year, the frequency of events increased by 10% year-on-year, to 33.

As expected, the majority of North American losses during Q3 and the first nine months of the year came from the U.S., making up $12.2 billion of the insured loss total, from 30 events.

Further highlighting the trend witnessed across North America throughout 2015, the severity of events dipped by 18% from $14.8 billion during 2014, while the number of events increased by 15% compared with last year, as “the trend toward increasing numbers of smaller events continues,” notes PCS.

The chart below, provided by PCS highlights the trend of more frequent but less severe PCS-designated catastrophe events across the U.S. and Canada during the first nine months of they year.

9M 2015 PCS-Designated Events and Insured Losses

9M 2015 PCS-Designated Events and Insured Losses

Despite the frequency of events for the nine-month period being up on 2014’s total, the number of events during Q3 in the U.S. alone fell from six events in 2014, to five events this year. Q3 insured losses from the five U.S. events totalled just $1.9 billion, with the remaining, roughly C$340 million coming from two events in Canada, says PCS.

In fact, according to data from its report, just three PCS-designated events have been declared in Canada so far this year, totalling C$398 million, compared with C$777 million for the same period in 2014, of which C$640 occurred in the third-quarter.

 Top Ten Catastrophe-Affected States in H1 2015

Top Ten Catastrophe-Affected States in H1 2015

The chart above reveals that Texas remains the most affected state from catastrophes in the U.S. this year, reaching $2.4 billion of insured losses.

Massachusetts is the only other state to experience losses so far in 2015 of more than $1 billion, while “the top ten states accounted for just over half of all U.S. catastrophe loss activity in the first nine months of they year,” says PCS.

Finally, broken down by business category PCS reveals that as in the first nine months of last year personal losses accounted for the majority of third-quarter activity, at 73.7%, or $1.4 billion of insured losses.

Q3 2015 Losses from PCS-Designated Events by Category

Q3 2015 Losses from PCS-Designated Events by Category

Commercial losses accounted for 16.9% of insured losses across the U.S. so far in 2015, compared with 26.6% last year. While the 24.4% of vehicle insured losses during the first nine months of 2014 declined to 9.4% in 2015.

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