• DISASTERS’ COST2022 U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters in Historical Context

    By Adam B. Smith

    2022 was an intense year of costly disasters and extremes throughout much of the country. 2022 tied 2017 and 2011 for the third highest number of billion-dollar disasters. 2022 was also third highest in total costs (behind 2017 and 2005), with a price tag of at least $165.0 billion. This total annual cost may rise by several billion when we’ve fully accounted for the costs of the December 21-26 Central and Eastern winter storm/cold wave.

  • CLIMATE & DISASTER INSURANCECoughing Up Billions of Dollars to Save Florida’s Insurance Market

    By Jake Bittle

    In the three months since Hurricane Ian struck Florida, the state’s fragile property insurance market has been teetering on the brink of collapse. The historic storm caused over $50 billion in damage, and dealt a body blow to an industry that was already struggling to stay standing: Several insurance companies had already collapsed this year even before the hurricane, and major funders are now poised to abandon those that remain.

  • 2022 IN REVIEW: CLIMATE DISASTERS2022’s U.S. Climate Disasters: A Tale of Too Much Rain – and Too Little

    By Shuang-Ye Wu

    The year 2022 will be remembered across the U.S. for its devastating flooding and storms – and also for its extreme heat waves and droughts, including one so severe it briefly shut down traffic on the Mississippi River.

  • DISASTER INSURCANCEThe World’s Insurance Bill from Natural Disasters This Year: $115 Billion

    By Lylla Younes

    Extreme weather events have caused an estimated $115 billion in insured financial losses around the world this year according to Swiss Re, the Zurich-based reinsurance giant. That’s 42 percent higher than the 10-year average of $81 billion.

  • DISASTER INSURANCEWith Climate Impacts Growing, Insurance Companies Face Big Challenges

    By Renee Cho

    The impacts of climate change are all around us: sea level rise, severe heat waves, drought, extreme rainfall, more powerful storms. These impacts are making natural disasters more intense and more frequent. Losses from each disaster—drought and wildfires in the southwest, severe storms in the Midwest, flooding in Kentucky and Missouri, and hurricanes in the southeast—have exceeded $1 billion, with the cumulative cost of disasters over the last five years reaching $788.4 billion.

  • ARGUMENT: THE WAGNER GROUP AS FTOIt’s Time to Designate Wagner Group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization

    The international sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine have not targeted a key component in the Kremlin’s toolbox for international terror and coercion: the private military company (PMC) Wagner Group, which is owned by Vladimir Putin confidant Yevgeny Prigozhin. Wagner Group’s activities in Ukraine have been notorious since 2014, but they also have had a persistent presence in Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic (CAR), and—most recently—Mali.

  • DISASTER INSURANCEFEMA Projects Up to $3.5 - $5.3 Billion in Hurricane Ian Flood Insurance Claims Payments

    As of Nov. 10, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has received more than 44,000 flood claims from Hurricane Ian and has paid nearly $437 million to policyholders. FEMA’s initial estimate projects Hurricane Ian could potentially result in NFIP claims losses between $3.5 - $5.3 billion, including loss adjustment expenses.

  • DISASTER COSTSThe U.S. Needs to Prepare for More Billion-Dollar Climate Disasters Like Hurricane Ian

    By Alice C. Hil

    Billion-dollar disasters such as Hurricane Ian are on the rise in the United States. Officials should take swift action to reduce the damage and protect Americans.

  • WEATHER DISASTERSWeather Disasters in U.S. Dominate Natural Disaster Losses in 2021

    In 2021, natural disasters caused overall losses of $280bn, of which roughly $120bn were insured. Alongside 2005 and 2011, the year 2021 proved to be the second-costliest ever for the insurance sector (record year 2017: $146bn, inflation-adjusted). Overall losses from natural disasters were the fourth-highest to date (record year 2011: $355bn). Hurricane Ida was the year’s costliest natural disaster, with overall losses of $65bn (insured losses of $36bn). In Europe, flash floods after extreme rainfall caused losses of $54bn (€46bn) – the costliest natural disaster on record in Germany. Many of the weather catastrophes fit in with the expected consequences of climate change, making greater loss preparedness and  climate protection a matter of urgency.

  • Flood insuranceImproving Use of Flood Insurance

    DHS S&T and partners will study improvements to flood insurance, identifying ways to expand the use of flood insurance to reduce the financial losses suffered by homeowners and creditors in future storms.

  • Food securityGlobal Warming Increased U.S. Crop Insurance Losses by $27 Billion in 27 Years

    Higher temperatures attributed to climate change caused payouts from the nation’s biggest farm support program to increase by $27 billion between 1991 and 2017, according to new estimates from Stanford researchers. Costs are likely to rise even further with the growing intensity and frequency of heat waves and other severe weather events.

  • ExtremismCauses of Extremism Spike in U.S. Military Examined in New Study

    By Jeff Seldin

    A new study from the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism found a sharp increase in the number of former members of the U.S. military who are linked to extremist groups and activities. Michael Jensen, a co-author of the study, said that the problem of extremism is primarily a problem among veterans, not a problem in the ranks of those who are currently serving.

  • Flood plainsHomes in Floodplains Are Overvalued by Nearly $44 Billion

    Analysis of sales data and flood risk data over two decades indicates that housing markets fail to fully account for information about flood risk. The findings suggest that policies to improve risk communication could influence market outcomes.

  • ARGUMENT: Cyber insuranceWar, Terrorism, and Catastrophe in Cyber Insurance: Understanding and Reforming Exclusions

    Insurance is one of the most promising tools for addressing pervasive cyber insecurity. A robust market for insuring cyber incidents could, among other things, financially incentivize organizations to adopt better cyber hygiene—thereby reducing cyber risk for society as a whole. But cyber insurance, however, is not yet mature enough to fulfill its potential, Jon Bateman writes, and endless lawsuits hamper its effectiveness. Reforms and new solutions are sorely needed.

  • Waterfront challengesWaterfront Development Added Billions to Property Values Exposed to Hurricane Florence

    By Rebecca Fowler

    Rapid development in flood-prone zones during recent decades helped boost the amount of property exposed to 2018’s devastating Hurricane Florence substantially, a new study says. It estimates that the value of property in North Carolina and South Carolina potentially exposed to flooding at $52 billion—$42 billion more than at the start of the century (in 2018 dollars). While much development took place between 1950 and 2000, financial risk rose quickly afterward because much of it clustered along coastlines and adjacent to rivers and lakes, where buildings were more vulnerable to flooding.