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Natural Disasters in 2021 Sparked Nearly $60B in Damage

CoreLogic released its 2021 Climate Change Catastrophe Report, revealing more than 14.5 million single and multifamily homes were impacted by the largest natural catastrophe events of 2021, with an estimated $56.92 billion in property damage. The annual report analyzed 13 major hazard events of 2021, showing over 14.5 million homes impacted by hurricanes, wildfires, winter storms or severe weather, to understand how these events have disproportionate yet nationwide effects on properties.

Using advanced risk modeling technology, CoreLogic analyzed more than 120 million residential structures in the U.S. and took a closer look at defining impact. Property impact varies by event—while a wildfire has the potential to consume an entire property, there may also be damage caused by smoke, ash and odor to the neighboring structures that remain standing. While risk comes in various degrees, any sort of property damage can have a compounding effect on the homeowner and economic stability.

“By leveraging granular data for the increasing frequency and severity of catastrophes, we are able to see that more than 14.5 million homes were impacted to some degree by natural hazards in 2021. That’s about one in every 10 homes in the United States,” said Tom Larsen, CoreLogic’s Principal, Industry Solutions. “Insurers and lenders can leverage the latest technologies and work cross-functionally to better understand this risk, protect homeowners and enable faster recovery times.”

Natural disasters are increasing in frequency and severity, impacting regions underprepared to handle an economic disruption, job displacement, and the destruction of real estate assets. Consumers are often unable to pay their mortgages or afford reconstruction costs after disaster strikes. The report analyzes areas like Houma, Louisiana, which was hit head-on by Hurricane Ida, a category 4 hurricane, in August 2021. At the time of impact, delinquency rates hovered around 7.4%. The following month, the delinquency rate nearly doubled to 13.3% and hit 13.5% in October.

While recovery after a natural catastrophe continues after the walls are rebuilt, it’s important for insurers, mortgage and financial professionals to harness technology and better anticipate the possible severity of potential disasters. Such preparedness can be helpful in shielding homeownership, insurer portfolios and protecting the housing stock from collapsing.

To download the full 2021 CoreLogic Climate Change Catastrophe Report, which includes maps, charts and images, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].

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