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1. Hurricane Katrina

Year: 2005

Areas affected: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee

Insured losses (then): $41.1 billion

Insured losses (in 2011 dollars): $47.5 billion

Disaster insurance tip: Most homeowners insurance policies exclude floods. Check yours. The National Flood Insurance Program offers supplemental flood coverage to anyone in the U.S. The average flood premium is about $600 a year. Basic policies for low- to moderate-risk areas start at $129.

(Photo: United States Coast Guard)

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By Michael DeSenne, Kiplinger.com