Costliest Floods of the Last 40 Years

Above-average storm activity and worsening weather events.
June 3, 2020

Recent years of above-average storm activity and worsening weather events continue to pose growing threats to the insurance industry. Looking back at the last 40 years of hurricanes and flood events, Federal Emergency Management Agency data published by the Insurance Information Institute and Statista ranked the most expensive flood disasters in the United States from 1978 to 2019, based on National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) payouts for each event.

Nearly all of the top 10 flood disasters on the list were hurricanes, and all 10 events occurred within the last 18 years.

Ranking 10th was Hurricane Matthew at $654 million in NFIP payouts, followed by Hurricane Irma with payouts of $1.05 billion, Tropical Storm Allison with $1.1 billion in payouts, Hurricane Irene with $1.35 billion in payouts, Hurricane Ivan with payouts of $1.608 billion, the 2016 Louisiana floods with $2.47 billion in payouts, Hurricane Ike with payouts of $2.7 billion, Superstorm Sandy with payouts of $8.8 billion, Hurricane Harvey with $8.9 billion in payouts, and Hurricane Katrina with payouts of $16.26 billion.


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