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2005 Hurricane Season


The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active in recorded history. Warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures combined with paths over very warm ocean currents enabled many storms to rapidly intensify. There seems to be no end to this active trend which began in 1995. As ocean water temperatures continue to rise, so will the chances of hurricanes developing.

Breaking records

Millions of lives were changed by the record-setting 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. Breaking the old record of two category 5 hurricane set in 1960 and 1961, seven named storms made United States landfall during 2005 (Arlene, Cindy, Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Tammy and Wilma).

“This hurricane season shattered records that have stood for decades — most named storms, most hurricanes, and most category five storms. Arguably, it was the most devastating hurricane season the country has experienced in modern times,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.


The chart below shows insured losses for the top 10 costliest hurricanes in the United States in dollars when they occurred. Insured losses for the catastrophic hurricanes of 2017—Maria, Irma and Harvey—are represented as a range because factors such as the severity of the losses and the fact that the storms happened in rapid succession, straining resources for the claim settlement process, have hindered the development of final estimates. The Triple-I has developed the ranges after studying estimates from catastrophe modelers and other organizations. One hurricane in 2018—Michael—was the eighth-costliest hurricane to hit the United States. Losses from Hurricane Michael are also represented by a range. Insured losses for Irma in Florida are still being compiled by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR). In June 2020 the OIR reported that as of January 10, 2020 total insured losses from Irma in Florida alone totaled $17.4 billion. Although about 96 percent of claims have been closed, about 45,000 claims remain open.


(1) Property losses only. Excludes flood damage covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program. Ranked on dollars when occurred. As of April 17, 2020.
(2) Insurance Information Institute estimate based on data from catastrophe risk modelers, reinsurance companies, the Property Claims Services unit of Verisk Analytics, the Federal Emergency Management Agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. These estimates are preliminary because the organizations involved periodically resurvey the events, and the severity of losses and other factors create a high level of uncertainty surrounding the ultimate loss figures.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, catastrophe risk modelers, reinsurance companies, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, the Property Claim Services® (PCS®) unit of ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® company, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Published on Aug 07 2020

Last Updated on Aug 10 2020

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