Whether you believe in global warming or not, the reality is that weather-related disasters are costing the United States an increasing amount of money every year. A recent report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that the U.S. had 14 weather disasters in 2019 that cost the country a combined total of approximately $1 billion.
Of that $1 billion, roughly half was a direct result of flooding in the Midwest. That number is more than double the historical norm since 1980, if you adjust the numbers to account for inflation. Experts predict that this trend of increasing costs will only continue in the near future.
To put these numbers into perspective, it’s worth pointing out that there were a total of 119 weather-related disasters over the last ten years. In total, those disasters accumulated damages in excess of $800 billion. That’s double the $400 billion in damages that weather disasters wrought from 2000-2009.
The Insurance Journal dug deeper into why exactly these floods in the Midwest are causing so much damage. “The Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri Rivers all spilled their banks in late winter and spring, inundating farms and cities, delaying planting across the agricultural heart of the U.S. and choking off freight shipments,” writes the Journal. “The deluge contributed to an ongoing trend since 2010 of more costly floods across the U.S.”
Weather-related disasters are becoming more frequent and more devastating. The scientific consensus is that this trend will only continue in the near future. That makes having the appropriate insurance policies in place is more important than ever. While you can’t predict mother nature, you can prepare for her.