2017 Hurricane Season

Hurricanes typically threaten the 18 states along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico—from Texas to Maine—and can result in injury and death, plus millions, and sometimes billions, of dollars in property damage.

Hurricane Damage

According to Munich Re:

  • The 10-year average from 2005-2015 for insured losses due to hurricanes in the U.S. is $6.5 billion.
  • In 2015, losses were well below average at around $60 million.

The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season

  • The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. Historically, most tropical activity occurs during this timeframe, with September being the most active month.
  • Forecasts for this year’s season are near average, which would make it less active than the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season. Many different entities make predictions, and the average of those are for 12 named storms, five hurricanes and three major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher with winds over 110 mph). That compares with 2016’s season, which had 15 named storms, seven hurricanes and four major hurricanes, and a 30-year (1981-2010) normal of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes, according U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) data.

10 Costliest Hurricanes in the U.S.

Rank Name Year Insured Property Losses*
1 Katrina 2005 $49 billion
2 Andrew 1992 $24.1 billion
3 Sandy 2012 $19.5 billion
4 Ike 2008 $13.8 billion
5 Wilma 2005 $12.9 billion
6 Charley 2004 $9.2 billion
7 Ivan 2004 $8.7 billion
8 Hugo 1989 $7.1 billion
9 Rita 2005 $6.7 billion
10 Frances 2004 $5.6 billion

*Adjusted for inflation; listed in 2015 dollars. Excludes flood damage covered by NFIP. Source: Property Claim Services (PCS®).

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale 


Wind Speeds

Type of Damage Caused



Some damage: Possible damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large tree branches may snap; shallowly rooted trees may topple. Possible power outages for a few to several days.



Extensive damage: Major roof and siding damage possible. Shallowly rooted trees likely to snap or uproot and block roads. Power loss expected; could last several days to weeks.



Devastating damage: Major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends possible. Trees may snap or uproot, blocking roads. Water and electricity will be unavailable for several days to weeks.



Catastrophic damage: Severe damage with loss of roof structure and/or exterior wall(s) possible. Trees will snap or uproot, and power poles will be downed; both will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.


157 or
higher mph

Catastrophic damage: Many homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Source: Based on NOAA’s National Hurricane Center page (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php).

IBHS Hurricane Research

IBHS simulates the high winds and wind-driven rain conditions that generally occur during hurricanes, and conducts tests at its Research Center using full-scale one- and two-story residential and commercial buildings to:

  • Develop relationships between current test standards and performance of roofs in simulated windstorms.
  • Identify effective methods to provide backup water intrusion protection when primary roof cover is damaged.
  • Examine aging effects on roof performance during extreme weather events.
  • Develop cost-effective methods for retrofitting various roofing systems to mitigate damage and losses.

Watch vs. Warning

  • Hurricane Watch—A hurricane is possible within the specified area.
    • Issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated storm.
  • Hurricane Warning—A hurricane is expected somewhere within the specified area.
    • Issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated storm.
    • Can remain in effect when dangerous conditions (high water and/or waves) continue, even if winds may be less than hurricane. 

Preparedness is Key

Learn more about how to prepare your home or business for hurricanes and tropical storms: