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Estimated overall losses due to natural disasters in the United States in 2016, by type (in million U.S. dollars)

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Estimated losses in million U.S. dollars
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About This Statistic

This statistic shows the estimated overall losses due to natural disasters in the United States in 2016, by type. Severe thunderstorms, for instance, caused overall losses of over 19 billion U.S. dollars.


Thunderstorms in the U.S. – additional information

Thunderstorms occur when there’s moisture, unstable air and lift. Approximately ten percent of thunderstorms in the U.S. are classified as severe, which means that they include hail of one inch or more, winds exceeding 57.5 mph and/or a tornado. Severe thunderstorms caused more damage than all winter storms, flooding and heat-related natural disasters put together in 2016.

Severe thunderstorms pose a great risk to public safety and often results in fatalities. People can be harmed in many ways during a thunderstorm, such as directly struck by lightning or hurt when a building collapses/tree falls down. In 2015, 114 people were killed as a result of severe thunderstorms in the U.S. Lightning strikes alone caused 27 deaths and 130 injuries in that year.

The high risk of damage posed by thunderstorms means that insurance cover is an important tool in reducing the losses incurred. In 2015 alone, 99,423 homeowner insurance claims were paid due to lightning losses. Insurers paid out 790.1 million U.S. dollars to policyholders who suffered losses due to lightning in that same year.

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