Titan Properties USA

We’ve officially entered hurricane season. While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there’s a good chance it will be a “near-normal” one for both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, that’s not exactly comforting for property owners, especially given recent numbers.

In the last three years, 13 hurricanes have made landfall in the U.S. One of those was Hurricane Ida—the second-most damaging storm the country’s ever seen. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Ida racked up an estimated $36 billion in insured losses, behind only Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

It’s storms like these—and the risk of more of them down the road—that has spurred an uptick in property insurance premiums nationwide.

Will 2023 bring more of that costly risk? Here’s what CoreLogic’s recent hurricane report tells us.

Over 32 Million Homes at Risk

CoreLogic’s report has some sobering numbers. According to the analysis, a whopping 32 million single-family residences have a “moderate or greater” risk of damage from hurricane-force winds, amounting to $11.6 trillion in potential reconstruction costs.

Hurricane Wind Risk Level Relative to Reconstruction Value - CoreLogic
Hurricane Wind Risk Level Relative to Reconstruction Value – CoreLogic

Another almost 8 million single-family properties are at risk of storm surge flooding. The potential costs there add up to $2.6 trillion.

Storm Surge Saffir-Simpson Category Relative to Reconstruction Value - CoreLogic
Storm Surge Saffir-Simpson Category Relative to Reconstruction Value – CoreLogic

If you look at multifamily residences, there are nearly 1 million properties at risk for wind damage and 261,000 for storm surge flooding.

What Markets Are Most at Risk?

Potential property risks vary widely by location. Most at-risk, according to CoreLogic, is the New York City-Newark-Jersey City metro, where 8 million single-family residences could sustain wind damage. The metro also takes the number one spot for possible storm surge flooding, with almost 800,000 single-family residences at risk.

“While hurricanes are more likely to land in South Florida or along the Gulf Coast than in the U.S. Northeast, the New York metro area includes more exposed homes based on proximity to the coast and population density,” the report reads. “The damage would be catastrophic to the New York City metro area if a major hurricane were to make landfall, like Superstorm Sandy in 2012.” 

Hurricane Sandy was the third-most damaging hurricane of all time, behind Ida and Katrina. According to the Insurance Information Institute, it led to over $35 billion in insured losses.

Here’s the full list of the most at-risk metros for single-family hurricane wind damage:

Metro Number of Homes at Risk
New York-Newark-Jersey City 3,825,243
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 2,085,879
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach 2,018,040
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington 1,927,600
Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria 1,766,435

And for single-family storm surge flooding:

Metro Number of Homes at Risk
New York-Newark-Jersey City 788,261
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach 746,602
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater 540,411
New Orleans-Metairie 405,975
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News 399,326

In the multifamily space, New York, Miami, Boston, Tampa, and Cape Coral, Florida, have the biggest risk of flooding, while New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Miami, and Philadelphia have the biggest wind risk.

What it Means For You

If you have investments in any of these higher-risk regions, it doesn’t just mean potential property damage. Insurers are actually “pulling out in droves” in some areas, according to insurance provider Steadily, so it could make renewing your insurance policies a challenge.

“The entire state of Florida is a tough place when it comes to insurance,” wrote Datha Santomieri, co-founder and vice president of insurance at Steadily. “Fourteen insurance companies are currently in liquidation, and most of those went belly up in the last year.”

If you are able to renew your policy or find insurance in a high-risk area, expect higher premiums—potentially much higher. According to III, Florida property owners can expect insurance premiums to jump 40% or more this year.

“If you’re in one of these tough geographic areas and you have an insurance company willing to offer you a renewal, you might want to consider settling in for the ride even if your premiums are going up,” Santomieri says. “It’s going to be tough for a while.”

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.

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