10 Costliest Catastrophes in the U.S.

Recall with us the ten costliest catastrophes in the U.S., with our guidance on how to best protect yourself against similar losses.

They destroy homes and vehicles, displace families and interrupt business. The question is, who pays?

The 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the Mid-Atlantic states on August 23 was a vivid reminder that disasters can strike without warning. Having the right insurance is important to your personal finances. If an event similar to the historic San Francisco earthquake of 1906 were to strike today, insured losses would top $100 billion, estimates AIR Worldwide, a risk-modeling firm. Back then, however, little property was insured.

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Michael DeSenne
Executive Editor, Kiplinger.com
DeSenne made the leap to online financial journalism in 1998, just in time for the dot-com boom. After a stint with Dow Jones Newswires, dreams of IPO riches led him to SmartMoney.com, where over nine years he held several positions, including executive editor. He later served as the personal finance editor at HouseLogic.com and AARP.org. In 2011, he joined Kiplinger.com, where he focuses on content strategy, video, SEO and Web analytics. DeSenne has a BA from Williams College in Anthropology—a major deemed the absolute worst for career success by none other than Kiplinger.