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MoneyGeek Analysis:

The State With the Most Hurricane Risk May Surprise You; It Isn’t Florida

Last Updated: 10/12/2022
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) outlook for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to November 30, predicted a 65% chance of an above-normal season, meaning that states with the most hurricane risk may face even more significant losses.

To find the states with the most expected risk this hurricane season, MoneyGeek analyzed expected annualized losses from hurricanes overall and per capita. We also determined which at-risk states had the most vehicle owners without comprehensive auto insurance coverage; without this insurance, drivers aren't covered for hurricane-related damage to their vehicles.

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States With the Most Hurricane Risk for Homeowners & Renters

Worst States for Hurricane Losses

To find the states with the most expected hurricane risk in 2022, MoneyGeek used data from FEMA’s National Risk Index datasets and calculated annual expected total losses and per capita losses by state. We ranked states in order of most risk per capita to least risk per capita.

Topping the list is Louisiana, with damages expected to cost an average of $107 per resident; being home to the costliest storm in the U.S. — Hurricane Katrina — which produced $186.3 billion in damages, the state is no stranger to significant hurricane damage. Mississippi ranks No. 2, with damages to buildings and the population expected to cost $78 per resident. Texas ranks in at No.3, where damages are projected to amount to $58 per person. In 2017, the Lone Star state was hit by the second costliest storm on record — Hurricane Harvey — which produced $148.8 billion in damages.

States With the Highest Losses per Capita from Hurricanes


  • 15. Connecticut
    Connecticut

    • $0.61Per Capita Expected Building & Population Losses
    • $2.2 millionTotal Expected Building & Population Losses

  • 14. New Jersey
    New Jersey

    • $0.61Per Capita Expected Building & Population Losses
    • $5.4 millionTotal Expected Building & Population Losses

  • 13. West Virginia
    West Virginia

    • $0.75Per Capita Expected Building & Population Losses
    • $1.4 millionTotal Expected Building & Population Losses

  • 12. Delaware
    Delaware

    • $1.61Per Capita Expected Building & Population Losses
    • $1.4 millionTotal Expected Building & Population Losses

  • 11. Georgia
    Georgia

    • $2.18Per Capita Expected Building & Population Losses
    • $21.1 millionTotal Expected Building & Population Losses

  • 10. Maryland
    Maryland

    • $2.46Per Capita Expected Building & Population Losses
    • $14.2 millionTotal Expected Building & Population Losses

  • 9. Virginia
    Virginia

    • $3.79Per Capita Expected Building & Population Losses
    • $30.3 millionTotal Expected Building & Population Losses

  • 8. District of Columbia
    District of Columbia

    • $5.73Per Capita Expected Building & Population Losses
    • $3.5 millionTotal Expected Building & Population Losses

  • 7. South Carolina
    South Carolina

    • $11.13Per Capita Expected Building & Population Losses
    • $51.5 millionTotal Expected Building & Population Losses

  • 6. Alabama
    Alabama

    • $20.59Per Capita Expected Building & Population Losses
    • $98.4 millionTotal Expected Building & Population Losses

  • 5. North Carolina
    North Carolina

    • $31.93Per Capita Expected Building & Population Losses
    • $304 millionTotal Expected Building & Population Losses

  • 4. Florida
    Florida

    • $36.49Per Capita Expected Building & Population Losses
    • $686 millionTotal Expected Building & Population Losses

  • 3. Texas
    Texas

    • $58.19Per Capita Expected Building & Population Losses
    • $1.5 billionTotal Expected Building & Population Losses

  • 2. Mississippi
    Mississippi

    • $78.42Per Capita Expected Building & Population Losses
    • $233 millionTotal Expected Building & Population Losses

  • 1. Louisiana
    Louisiana

    • $107.08Per Capita Expected Building & Population Losses
    • $485 millionTotal Expected Building & Population Losses

How Homeowners Can Prepare for Hurricane Season

Extreme flooding, power outages and massive property damage can make the aftermath of a hurricane extremely stressful. Taking steps to prepare your home against hurricane damages and secure an affordable home insurance policy with adequate coverage can help give you peace of mind this hurricane season and beyond.

Marty Bell — chief science officer of WeatherFlow — offered some advice on protecting your property before a hurricane strikes, including ensuring you have a robust home insurance policy.

“Before hurricane season, review insurance policies and make sure your home has proper coverage. Remember that homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damage, so if flooding is a threat at your location, make sure you have a separate flood insurance policy,” Bell said.

He also advises to always follow local building codes and make as many retrofits as you can outside of storm season.

“Garage doors are a common failure point, so have that up to code. Trim any weak branches or other vegetation around your home. When a storm threatens, the most important things to do will be to cover windows, secure loose outdoor items and move your vehicle to a safe location.”

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HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR A HURRICANE

Follow these additional tips to help you protect your home from hurricane damage:

  • To prevent floods from damaging your home, check for broken or cracked windows that can let in rain before the storm strikes.
  • Use storm shutters or board windows if you know a hurricane is likely to hit your area.
  • Make sure you have hurricane ties installed in your roof's structure to help increase its resistance to high winds and prevent uplifting, racking and overturning. Also, be sure to check the roof for any loose tiles or shingles.
  • Brace your garage door; if this is not reinforced, it could be susceptible to yanking from high winds and damage your roof.
  • Trim trees and remove dead and loose foliage that could fall and damage your roof or crash through windows.
  • Take an inventory of all your belongings in your home in case you need to file an insurance claim.

Because of climate change, homeowners may want to evaluate the potential risk of weather-related disasters in their area and take extra precautions to protect their assets; it’s crucial that you understand how climate change impacts your home insurance.

States With the Highest Vehicle Risk During Hurricane Season

Comprehensive auto insurance covers more than theft, glass breakage or fire — it also covers damage due to floods, hail and other natural disasters — including hurricanes.

MoneyGeek utilized data from our previous comprehensive coverage by state study to find the percentage of vehicle owners without comprehensive coverage in states with hurricane risk. Our analysis identified the percentage of vehicle owners without this crucial coverage in hurricane-prone areas who would be at risk of having a total vehicle if their car was damaged or totaled during a hurricane.

Mississippi topped the list with nearly half of vehicle owners — 49.3% — not having comprehensive coverage. Arkansas and Oklahoma were next with 44.5% and 44.2% of drivers lacking comprehensive coverage, respectively.

Although some vehicle owners may not purchase comprehensive coverage because it’s not required, the coverage may be a cost-effective investment as it covers multiple types of damages. In most cases, this coverage is less expensive than the cost to replace an entire vehicle or make major repairs in the event of hurricane damage.

% of Drivers Without Comprehensive Coverage in Hurricane-Prone States

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  • State
    Percentage of Vehicles at Risk
  • 1.
    Mississippi
    49.3%
  • 2.
    Arkansas
    44.5%
  • 3.
    Oklahoma
    42.2%
  • 4.
    Tennessee
    41.8%
  • 5.
    Alabama
    41.5%

Expert Insights On Climate Change & Its Impact on Property Values

Global models of hurricanes predict storms that will cause heavier rainfall and stronger winds in the coming years. The scientific consensus is clear — climate change is impacting hurricanes in unprecedented ways. MoneyGeek asked experts to provide insight into the financial implications of these changes.

  1. Why is climate change affecting hurricane season more greatly in some areas like Louisiana, Texas and Florida versus others?
  2. How will climate change affect property values and maintenance costs?
Dr. Erica Dodds
Dr. Erica Dodds

COO of the Foundation for Climate Restoration

Marty Bell
Marty Bell

Chief Science Officer at WeatherFlow

Dr. Deborah Brosnan
Dr. Deborah Brosnan

Climate Scientist & Environmental Risk Reduction Consultant

Full Data Set

MoneyGeek’s full data set provides a detailed view of the full list of states where hurricanes can occur, considering only those states with an expected annual loss rating from “very low” to “very high" and excluding states FEMA has deemed “not applicable” in terms of exposure to hurricanes that would cause damages.

The table below uses the following terminology to evaluate hurricane risk and loss across the country:

  • Expected Building & Population Loss per Capita: Total expected building and population losses per person based on population size.
  • Expected Building & Population Losses: The expected losses associated with building destruction and damages combined with expected losses associated with injury and fatalities using a FEMA-determined statistical value of life of $7.6 million.
Rank
State
Expected Building & Population Losses per Capita
Expected Building & Population Losses

1

Louisiana

$107.08

$485,417,699

2

Mississippi

$78.42

$232,699,566

3

Texas

$58.19

$1,463,316,514

4

Florida

$36.49

$686,045,338

5

North Carolina

$31.93

$304,446,227

6

Alabama

$20.59

$98,426,801

7

South Carolina

$11.13

$51,501,560

8

District of Columbia

$5.73

$3,450,004

9

Virginia

$3.79

$30,328,343

10

Maryland

$2.46

$14,223,715

11

Georgia

$2.18

$21,090,900

12

Delaware

$1.61

$1,446,262

13

West Virginia

$0.75

$1,389,918

14

New Jersey

$0.61

$5,393,098

15

Connecticut

$0.61

$2,177,598

16

New Hampshire

$0.54

$704,851

17

Massachusetts

$0.42

$2,719,010

18

Vermont

$0.40

$253,423

19

Pennsylvania

$0.37

$4,734,597

20

Arkansas

$0.29

$850,965

21

New York

$0.28

$5,354,366

22

Maine

$0.27

$356,692

23

Tennessee

$0.14

$882,188

24

Oklahoma

$0.09

$353,420

25

Michigan

$0.09

$914,158

26

Illinois

$0.09

$1,125,616

27

Missouri

$0.08

$451,675

28

Kentucky

$0.07

$324,627

29

Indiana

$0.07

$459,719

30

Ohio

$0.07

$786,566

31

Hawaii

$0.06

$87,805

32

Iowa

$0.06

$181,845

33

Wisconsin

$0.05

$292,830

34

Rhode Island

$0.05

$51,457

35

Arizona

$0.04

$284,638

36

Kansas

$0.02

$65,523

37

New Mexico

$0.01

$24,454

38

Minnesota

$0.00

$1,649

39

California

$0.00

$3,937

Methodology

MoneyGeek utilized data from FEMA’s National Risk Index datasets to calculate the annual expected losses for each state from building damage and population exposure data, which considers the FEMA-determined statistical value of life to be $7.6 million. To calculate per capita risk, MoneyGeek utilized the population as of 2016.

To calculate vehicle risk, we used data from MoneyGeek's comprehensive coverage by state study to find the percentage of vehicle owners without comprehensive coverage in states with hurricane risk.

FEMA's National Risk Index data also includes estimates for agricultural losses due to hurricanes, which were excluded from MoneyGeek’s analysis.

If you have any questions about our findings or methodology, please reach out to Melody Kasulis via email at melody@moneygeek.com.

About the Author


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As a longtime writer and editor with a master's degree in journalism, Erin has written about a variety of topics over the years including lifestyle, business, entertainment and government, but she has spent the last few years focused on various money topics like banking, insurance and budgeting for AAA Living Magazine, Wells Fargo and BB&T. She loves creating content that inspires financial empowerment.


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