Insurers told to 'brace themselves for storms'

Insurers should brace themselves for catastrophic storm seasons once every four years, a risk management company has warned.

Last year’s storm season – tornadoes, hail, strong winds, lightning strikes and flash flooding – cost the US $10.5bn (£7.2bn) in insured losses, a report from Risk Management Solutions (RMS) said.

Matthew Nelson, product manager at RMS, said: “The degree of early season activity caught many off guard, wreaking extreme havoc, amplifying losses and exhausting many aggregate insurance covers.

“While many insurers were surprised, our analysis shows this level of loss could be expected as frequently as once every four to five years on average. This means there’s potential for far more extreme loss seasons. Insurers should quantify and manage their exposures to this peril as they would hurricanes and earthquakes to help avoid future unpleasant surprises.”