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Lessons From the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season

CLM fellows share their lessons learned from last year's busy season

June 01, 2021 Photo

As the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season arrives, what lessons were learned from the very active 2020 season?

“The number of sequential storm events and how far inland storms moved in 2020 underscored the importance of catastrophe modeling and efficient claims response. This year, insurers and consumers will increasingly rely on streamlined claim reporting, digital processing, and advanced fraud detection—essential for what is forecasted to be another above-average hurricane season.”      -Rich Della Rocca, President of Claims, Verisk. CLM Fellow since 2021.

“With three landfalling hurricanes in 2020, Louisiana’s claim counts were second in history only to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, forcing insurers to expedite their digital transformation efforts to meet a challenge further exacerbated by the pandemic. Carriers that immediately implemented virtual claims workflows leapfrogged the competition and are in a much better position to serve the market moving forward.” -Tom Larsen, Industry Solutions Principal, CoreLogic. CLM Fellow since 2021.

“The 2020 hurricane season was the most active in history, with a pandemic added on to it. Before COVID-19, implementing available technologies and utilizing virtual adjusting was optional. After COVID-19, it became a necessity. When we left our comfort zone, however, we found out that processes were expedited, turnaround time was improved, and customer satisfaction rose considerably. The lessons learned are that technology and virtual adjusting have improved claims handling, but we still need human touch as part of the claims process.” -Mary Anne Medina, Vice President of Business Development, Field Pros Direct. CLM Fellow since 2010.

“The most active hurricane season on record taught us the critical role that flood insurance plays in our communities. Louisiana saw a record number of named storm landfalls, but only about 5,000 NFIP flood claims were filed. FEMA issued over 230,000 individual assistance grants, which are typically for those without insurance, and are capped at about $35,000. NFIP insurance covers, in general, up to $250,000 of building coverage.” -Joe Rossi, Chair, Executive Director, Massachusetts Coastal Coalition. CLM Fellow since 2019.

$25 billion

Estimated U.S. insured losses for the
2020 hurricane season.

Source: Artemis

$60 billion

The 2020 hurricane season is estimated to have caused over $60 billion in economic losses; possibly as high as $65 billion.

Source: AccuWeather


Number of landfalling storms
in the continental U.S. during the
2020 hurricane season.

Source: NOAA

About The Authors
Phil Gusman

Phil Gusman is senior managing editor for CLM Magazine and Construction Claims magazine.  phil.gusman@theclm.org

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