Four Million US Homes Risk Hurricane Damage

By Mike Colpitts

As homeowners move to coastal areas in unprecedented numbers, more than 4 million are at risk of suffering storm damage from hurricanes, a new all-time record high, according property damage to an industry research report.

This years CoreLogic report indicates that slightly more than 4 million homes along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast regions are in danger of sustaining damage from hurricane related storm surge. The homes are generally insured by higher risk hurricane coverage policies that cost as much as 800% times that of prevailing standard homeowners insurance coverage.

The residential properties, which include both condominiums and single family homes pose more than $700 billion in total property exposure to insurance companies and state regulated programs insuring the properties.

The Atlantic coastline, which includes some of the most densely populated regions in the U.S., from Miami to New York City has about 2.2 million homes at risk, valued at more than $500 billion of the exposure.

Florida tops the list of states with the highest number of homes at risk of being impacted by the effects of storm surge at approximately 1.4 million homes, and has the highest exposure to damage at more than $188 billion.

Louisiana ranks second with properties at risk, while much further north New York state is second in the total value of coastal property exposure in dollar terms at $111 billion. Gulf Coast risk exposure is nearly $200 billion, with another 1.8 million homes at risk for storm surge and other wind related damage from hurricanes.

“Though more frequently impacted states like Florida, Texas and Louisiana get the most attention when it comes to hurricane vulnerability and destruction, Hurricane Irene made it very clear last summer that hurricane risk is not confined to the southern parts of the country,” said CoreLogic’s in-house weather damage expert Howard Botts.

The company developed the Storm Surge Report to enhance understanding of the additional risk that storm surge poses to homes located in areas prone to tropical storms and hurricanes. Storm surge is triggered by high winds and low pressure cells associated with hurricanes.