We have long asserted that the three most important factors in the rising amount insurers must pay out after hurricanes and similar severe weather are location, location, location.

In its Oct. 4 editions, the Wall Street Journal, citing data from NOAA and other sources, reported that the main reason for the increase in storm damage claim between 1980 and 2017 is the shift in population to areas that are the most vulnerable. Other oft-cited factors, such as climate change and sea level rise, don’t play a major role. It should be no surprise that the mass migration to coastal areas of the Sunshine State was a major contributing factor to this phenomenon. This helps explain why the Federal Flood Insurance Program was $20.5 billion in the red as of February.

Deer haven

Most people know the grim statistics about pedestrians killed trying to cross roads in Florida. The fatality numbers along U.S. 19 corridor through Pinellas and Pasco counties are particularly grim. Florida, however, is a safer place than most to cross the road — if you’re a deer.

According to auto insurer State Farm, Florida ranks 46, at 1 chance in 831, on the list of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., when it comes to the likelihood of a deer being fatally struck by a vehicle while crossing a road. Only Arizona, 1 in 1,072, Nevada, 1 in 1,088, California, 1 in 1,125, and Hawaii, 1 in 6,379, are safer. (Yes, they have dear in Hawaii.) Maybe those roadside deer warning signs in the Trinity and East Lake areas are working.

And a final word to the deer: Stay out of West Virginia, if you know what’s good for you.