Earlier in April, several different organizations released their initial predictions for the 2018 hurricane season. The first round of forecasts estimated a slightly above-average Atlantic hurricane season with 13 to 14 named storms; seven of them being hurricanes and three being major hurricanes. Updated forecasts are now predicting only six hurricanes with two categorized as major, due to the colder water temperatures being recorded in the tropical Atlantic Ocean.
This year’s predictions are a relief to coastal residents and business owners, many of whom were affected and are still recovering from last year’s 17 named storms. Out of the ten storms to reach hurricane-strength (wind speeds of 74 miles per hour or more) in the 2017 season, six were major hurricanes. Record-breaking warmth in the Atlantic was partly to blame for the increased activity last year, but this year’s cooler temperatures are expected to help suppress storm activity.
Even though home and business owners may be feeling relieved by the news, demand for coverage has not decreased. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), 2018 is expected to be another year of growth for the Insurance-linked securities (ILS) and catastrophe bonds market. As of May 31st, 2018 the catastrophe bond and related ILS market has seen the issuance of $8.2 billion in bonds, according to the latest data on the market.
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season has already begun, so insurance agents should have already started to prepare their clients by reviewing insurance policies and helping to fill insurance gaps with proper coverage. Some forecasters are expecting an early tropical impact, meaning more storms in the beginning of the season, rather than the end. In fact, less than a week before the official season began, the first named storm of 2018, Alberto, made landfall in Florida. Alberto’s outer bands brought heavy rains that produced flash flooding in the areas of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Wilmington, North Carolina.
The heavy rainfall caused by Alberto triggered multiple mudslides in North Carolina as well as some of the most significant flooding that area has seen in recent years. If predictions are true, the Southeast will be seeing a lot more rain in the next few months, and should get ready for more possible flooding. There is currently still time for agents to address the wind and flood insurance needs of their coastal clients, but if Alberto is any indication of timing, it might not be long until the next storm appears.
About Wilmington Insurance Agency
Wilmington Insurance Agency delivers comprehensive coastal property solutions. We are a Managing General Agency and provide independent insurance agents with property and liability insurance solutions for residents and businesses primarily in Maryland and Virginia. We work alongside our sister company, Wilmington Insurance Company, established in 1996 and providing Property & Casualty commercial lines business, homeowners, and condominium insurance in the state of Delaware. To learn more about how we can help you to expand your book of business in the coastal market, contact us at (302) 231-2800.