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Flooded home collapsing Flooding and a damaged home are seen after Hurricane Harvey hit Rockport, Texas, on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. Photographer: Alex Scott/Bloomberg

If it seems that “once in a lifetime” storms, like Hurricanes Florence and Michael, are happening more often, you’re right. According to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, catastrophic floods and storms have risen by 7.4% each year in recent decades. And not only are these 100-year weather events more frequent, but they are also costlier than ever. In 2018, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria set a new U.S. annual record, causing more than $300 billion in direct damages, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.

Although the most extreme catastrophic events, such as the California wildfires, get the headlines, there is almost nowhere in the country untouched by disaster. And the process of recovery and rebuilding can bring its own dangers if a homeowner or business owner is underinsured, according to CoreLogic, a property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider. Its 2019 Insurance Coverage Adequacy Report shows increases in reconstruction costs in certain disaster-prone areas range from 5.6% to 7.6% over a two-year period.

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Joyce Anne Grabel



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