Weather and climate were major insurance factors in 2016.

January 10 2017

The year 2016 was one that brought about billions of dollars in damages related to weather. This last year, the United States experienced 15 weather and climate disasters with insured and uninsured losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States.

In addition to destruction of property, these events resulted in the deaths of 138 people and had “significant economic effects” on the areas impacted, according to a new report.

Among the major climate events across the U.S. were a drought, four floods, eight severe storms, a tropical cyclone, and a wildfire.

The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) stated in a report that his was the second highest number of billion-dollar events in the 37-year record (1980–2016), one less than the 16 that occurred in 2011.

On a national level, four of the events in 2016 with losses exceeding $1 billion were inland flooding events not associated with named tropical storms. This doubled the previous record for number of billion-dollar inland flood events in one year, which occurred several years, most recently in 2015.

On a State level the report says 2016 was a year of temperature and precipitation extremes. Every state in the union had an average annual temperature that was among the warmest seven of their historical records, and all but Iowa, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Utah had one of their warmest five years. Georgia was record warm.

Precipitation also saw regional extremes. As is typical with a strong El Niño episode, precipitation across much of the West was above normal for the year. In California precipitation was 3.27 inches above the 20th century average while Washington was 7.36 inches above average. Several Upper Midwest states were much wetter than normal for the year. Both Minnesota and Wisconsin had their second wettest year, with Minnesota’s 2016 total just 0.3 inch less than its wettest year on record, 1977.

It will be hard to predict what the year 2017 hold in store for us, better to be prepared and make sure you are covered.