Record low temperatures responsible for high ranking on Storm Index

PEMCO Storm Index tracks weather-related data since 1984



​​​​SEATTLE – Early data from the PEMCO Storm Index suggests that last week’s cold snap will be among Washington’s top six severe cold-weather events of the past 25 years, based on PEMCO Insurance claims dollars of around $4,260,000 projected to be paid, according to the Washington-based insurer.

The frigid temperatures that gripped our state from Dec. 7 through 13 prompted a rash of claims that should rank this event behind only five previous cold-weather events: snowstorms of Dec. 26-30, 1996 ($15.2 million); Dec. 18, 1990 ($7.5 million); Dec. 17 – Jan. 10, 2009 ($7.1 million); Feb. 1-10, 1985 ($6.7 million); and Feb. 1, 1989 ($4.7 million). Last week’s freeze also could break into Washington’s top 10 weather events of any kind, which includes major windstorms.

As of Dec. 15, PEMCO had received 244 claims related to the cold weather, mostly for frozen and burst water pipes. Cold-weather claims continue to trickle in but are expected to return to near-normal by the end of the week. However, some claims might not be reported for weeks, with people on vacation and owners of second homes being unaware of damage until they return. Also, boats might have suffered freezing damage that won’t be detected until spring.

PEMCO advises people to take these precautions the next time a winter storm threatens: Protect your home in winter.

PEMCO is the largest property and casualty insurer headquartered in Washington and insures only Washington residents.

About the PEMCO Storm Index

PEMCO has tracked data since 1984 for claims related to snow, cold, and windstorms, plus events like earthquakes, wildfires, and heavy rain. PEMCO ranks these events based on the number of claims and gross paid loss amount, which is recalculated into inflation-adjusted dollars. Data for storms before 1984 is less comprehensive. View the charts here.

About PEMCO Insurance

PEMCO Insurance, established in 1949, is a Seattle-based provider of auto, home, boat, life, and umbrella insurance to Washington state residents.  PEMCO Insurance is sold by community agents throughout the state and through PEMCO offices.  For more information, visit