Hurricane Katrina 10 Years Later

In late August 2005—10 years ago this week—Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States and the city of New Orleans, becoming the single largest insured loss event in history. The storm hit with unprecedented ferocity and caused massive damage. It displaced more than 1 million people, took more than 1,800 lives and created more than 1.7 million insurance claims worth more than $41 billion. Total economic damage from Katrina would ultimately exceed $100 billion.

10 Years after Hurricane Katrina: A Retrospective on Claims Handling

10 Years after Hurricane Katrina: A Retrospective on Claims Handling

To help understand how insurance claims were managed after the hurricane, Crawford & Company has now published the research whitepaper 10 Years after Hurricane Katrina: A Retrospective on Claims Handling. The paper summarizes the storm’s severity and losses, provides a deeply personal, anecdotal perspective on how claims were handled on-site from Crawford adjusters who worked both in the devastated New Orleans and surrounding areas, and it goes on to examine how claims handling technology has evolved since 2005.

The arrival of Hurricane Katrina triggered one of the largest-ever evacuations: more than 1 million people across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama made their way out of the area. But many more stayed, either unable to leave or deciding to take their chances on riding out the storm. The biggest population center in Katrina’s path was the city of New Orleans, which was particularly vulnerable because its average elevation is below sea level. The U.S. Geological Survey determined that major breaches in New Orleans’ network of levees caused flooding in more than 75% of the city, from skyscrapers in commercial districts, to the French Quarter, to dozens of surrounding neighborhoods.

For Crawford, Hurricane Katrina tested its extensive capabilities as it used the full resources of its U.S. adjusters, its Global Technical Services professionals and adjusters from Canada, the U.K & New Zealand to manage millions of dollars of claims. 10 Years after Hurricane Katrina tells in detail the story of those adjusters and how their strategic planning, deep experience, creative thinking and intense dedication worked together to help them settle claims for those in need.

In a report issued after the storm, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which had built the flood defenses, admitted engineering failures and using outdated information during their construction. After Katrina, Congress authorized a $14.5 billion program to rebuild and fortify New Orleans’ flood defenses, a multiyear project that was largely completed in 2012. Katrina was a catastrophic event like no other in American history.

Take a few minutes and read 10 Years after Hurricane Katrina. It may be downloaded from Crawford’s website at

Do you remember Katrina? Did it affect your personally? Let us know below!


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