15 years after Katrina: Would we be prepared today?

Fifteen years ago, Hurricane Katrina struck the US, inflicting significant loss of life and devastating damage.

Hurricane Katrina remains a watershed event for re/insurance as the most expensive natural catastrophe for the global insurance industry to date. Though New Orleans’ hurricane exposure and vulnerability have changed since Katrina, hurricane wind and storm surge continue to present a key risk to the Gulf Coast region, despite extensive mitigation efforts.

The city of New Orleans should be commended for the steps it has taken to increase its resilience to extreme weather events
Marla Schwartz Pourrabbani, Natural Hazards Expert, Swiss Re

However, our catastrophe models reveal that coastal regions along the US Gulf and East Coasts remains highly vulnerable with the risk increasing due to impacts of climate change.

Reviews of historical natural hazards, such as this one, are crucial for understanding today’s risk and for validating probabilistic catastrophe loss modelling and related assessments.

Furthermore, despite the lack of major hurricane landfalls between 2006 and 2016, hurricane risk in the United States has not waned, as 2017 and 2018 reminded us.

The waters of the tropical Atlantic continue to run warmer than average, and we expect the trend of above average Atlantic hurricane activity that commenced in 1995 to persist.
Mohit Pande, Head Underwriting US & Canada, Swiss Re

Developments in mapping and modeling over the past several years mean there are more insurance options than ever before but the industry needs to continue to help property owners better understand their flood risk so they can be prepared when disaster does strike.


Expertise Publication 15 years after Katrina: Would we be prepared today?

Related content

  • Blog ​Strengthening Trust in Digital Identities

    Daniel Eckhart Senior Writer & Outreach Expert