Catastrophic Events Are Now Everywhere: The Urgent Need for Better Property Protection

Where increasingly severe weather meets growing populations, property damage from wind, hail and flood may seem inevitable. Fortunately, there’s much that property risk engineers can do.

In many ways, 2023 flipped the script. Underwriters expect to see their largest property losses during hurricane season — but last year’s hurricane season was relatively mild, and the U.S. still endured a record-setting 28 weather events causing over $1 billion in damage.

One cause? More regional weather events like severe convective storms, which lack the power of a hurricane but still rack up billions in damages with their high winds, hail and floods.

These types of events “were considered to be ancillary perils in the past,” said Valerie Turpin, EVP and chief underwriting officer, property, Arch Insurance. “Now, they’re considered their own stand-alone perils. They are [becoming] more important; they have their own characteristics.”

Ultimately, 2023 proved that property owners, risk engineers and underwriters can no longer treat convective storms as a Nat CAT policy afterthought. As property exposures change, the way we identify and protect potential targets from storm damage must change as well.

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