Insurance experts predict that the blizzard that recently hit the East Coast will cause economic damages in the billions of dollars. Aon Benfield, a global reinsurance firm, released a report on January 24 about the considerable water damage that storm surges from the recent storm caused to homes, businesses, beaches and infrastructure in coastal areas. While the storm buried parts of the Northeast in snow, coastal portions of New Jersey and Delaware were beset by storm surges that sparked coastal flooding. The storm surge caused considerable flood damage that some experts say far exceeds 2012's Hurricane Sandy. "We're potentially looking at one of the costlier winter storm events in recent memory," said Steven Bowen, meteorologist for Aon Benfield.
Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, said that the level of insured losses from severe winter weather is increasing. Hartwig cited data compiled by the institute showing that losses for both of the last two years were significantly higher than the average losses the industry faces each winter. Insured losses related to weather totaled approximately $2.9 billion in 2015, an increase of 26 percent compared with the $2.3 billion in 2014 and 53 percent compared with the $1.9 billion in 2013. Hartwig noted that despite the large increase in losses during recent years, the U.S. insurance industry is "financially prepared for anything Mother Nature has in store."