VCA Software

The Hurricane Season Predictions Are In: It’s Time to Prepare for Claims

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season could be record-breaking. Even an average hurricane season can result in a deluge of claims, so it’s time to start preparing. This year, new tools may help.

Storms Could Arrive Early

The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts on June 1. However, storms don’t always wait that long. According to The Weather Channel, at least one storm has formed before June 1 every year between 2015 and 2023 with only one exception. This year’s warm ocean water means an early start to hurricane season is very possible.

In other words, there’s no time to waste. Hurricanes may start forming soon, and insurance carriers, claims handlers and policyholders need to be ready.

The 2024 Hurricane Forecast

If you were hoping for a mild hurricane season, you’re in for some bad news. According to Property Casualty 360, four different forecasts are calling for a highly active hurricane season.

  • The average hurricane season sees 14.4 named storms, 7.2 hurricanes and 3.2 major hurricanes.
  • The Weather Company/Atmospheric G2 anticipates 24 named storms, 11 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes.
  • Colorado State University anticipates 23 named storms,11 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes.
  • Tropical Storm Risk anticipates 22 named storms, 11 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes.
  • The University of Arizona anticipates 21 named storms, 11 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes.

According to hurricane researchers at Colorado State University (CSU), warm tropical and eastern subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are driving predictions of a highly active hurricane season. Additionally, although El Niño weather patterns currently prevail, La Niña weather patterns are expected to develop, and this will likely add to the season’s hurricane activity.

The good news is that not all of the hurricanes that are expected to form are expected to make landfall in the U.S., but the bad news is that some of them are. CSU researchers say that there’s a 62% chance that a major hurricane will make landfall somewhere in the U.S., compared to the average probability of 43%. Additionally, there is a 34% chance of a major hurricane hitting the East Coast, a 42% chance of a major hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast and a 66% chance of a major hurricane hitting the Caribbean.

The CSU team will update its forecast on June 11, July 9 and August 6.

NOAA Announces a New Cone Graphic

The hurricane graphic provides critical information for people who need to prepare for an approaching storm. This year, the National Hurricane Center is rolling out an updated cone graphic that will provide additional information.

Starting around August 15, the National Hurricane Center will provide an experimental version of the cone graphic that adds inland tropical storm and hurricane watches and warnings. This addition is intended to help show inland wind risk during tropical cyclones.

Because the new cone graphic is experimental, it will not replace the old familiar graphic. Instead, the National Hurricane Season will issue both versions of the graphic. The new version should be made available within 30 minutes of the advisory release.

Wind can lead to significant damage, numerous insurance claims and expensive losses, so this additional warning information should be useful for business owners and homeowners who are trying to prepare ahead of a storm. Before a hurricane, the National Weather Service recommends securing all doors including garage doors and bringing in loose outdoor items such as patio furniture that could blow around during a storm.

Are You Ready for a Hurricane Claim Surge?

If the current hurricane forecasts are right, we can expect a severe hurricane season, and there’s a good chance that at least one major hurricane will make landfall in the U.S. If this happens, insurance carriers will be hit with a deluge of claims.

Insurance claim payout delays have been a common problem after hurricanes. According to News-Press, there were 2,525 complaints against insurance carriers over claims involving damage from Hurricane Ian citing claim delays, underpayment or unresponsiveness.

Although claim professionals may be doing their best amid a massive surge in claims volume, for the homeowners and business owners dealing with serious property damage, a fast response is critical. The right claims software can help. VCA Software streamlines claims workflows to shorten claim cycles while facilitating a positive claimant experience, even when claims volume surges.

Be ready for a busy hurricane season with a claims system that can scale to manage catastrophic events. Request a demo.