Home Insurance: Climate Change a “Hot” Topic at Final 2019 Debate
Updated: Sep 20, 2020
Climate Change is one of those buzz phrases that we hear all the time. The conversation has been happening for years, but it has been hard to get people on the same page. Many fail to see how climate change affects them. So, the idea that it could impact something as tangible as your home insurance might be surprising. Still, it is an “inconvenient truth”.
Americans on Climate Change
A recent set of polls conducted by CBS News reveals that most Americans believe climate change is a crisis. Roughly 70% of Americans feel that human behavior contributes to this problem. Most Americans also feel a sense of obligation to be part of the solution. This sentiment has increased over the years as people have started feeling the effects of climate change. And one of these impacted areas is your home insurance.
According to NASA, the evidence is all around us. Temperatures are rising around the globe. As a result of this, the oceans are warming. The polar ice caps are retreating and the glaciers are melting. Hence, the meme of the polar bear floating in the Arctic on a small piece of ice. As this happens and snow melts faster, sea levels rise. And, of course, human beings feel the impact most with severe weather events. This can mean anything from heat waves and droughts to intense rainfall. Of course, this puts homes in jeopardy. And where there is damage, there are repairs. Those don’t come cheap. So, home insurance is more costly.
Climate Change Effects on Your Home
The severity of storms has increased dramatically over the last few decades. The warming effect in tropical waters has sent dangerous hurricanes spinning toward the Gulf Coast. Hurricanes are responsible for severe home damage with powerful winds and rains. In addition, torrential downpours can lead to serious flooding and mudslides. All of this can wreak havoc on your house. Even if the storm does not affect the structure, even the smallest of unnoticeable leaks can cause intense mold damage. Years later, this can seriously diminish the value of your home. Not to mention, mold can jeopardize the health and well being of your family.
The Costs to Your Home Insurance
The financial costs of this can be devastating as well. In 2018, Hurricane Florence caused damage to over a quarter of a million homes. So, what does this mean in terms of dollars? Well, the estimate was roughly $20 billion in-home repairs. This makes adequate home insurance coverage more of a necessity than ever. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, “the costs from major natural disasters are associated with increases in disaster-related home-improvement spending for up to three years following the event”. In addition, renovation work reaches a high about one year after the storm.
Home Insurance in High-Risk Areas
These lingering effects require comprehensive homeowners’ insurance policies. This is even more critical for those who live in what are deemed “high-risk areas”. This issue even took center stage in the final Democratic primary debate of 2019. The candidates were asked if they would support a government-subsidized program to relocate Americans living in some of these high-risk areas, which have become too dangerous to live in. Most of the candidates expressed support and laid out their ideas to address the issue, noting
Candidates on Higher Home Insurance Premiums
Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota even touched on the financial costs for Americans. This shows she recognizes that, even when the situation is not severe enough to warrant relocation, Americans are feeling the negative effects. As Business Insider notes, a report from Esurance from March of 2019 highlighted the resulting higher premiums and larger deductibles. They also noted that there are fewer coverage options now than before.
Overall, it is important for homeowners to consider the dangers of the location in which they live. From there, you can start planning what kind of coverage you will need. This will leave you better equipped to advocate for yourself with insurance companies. Plus, you will know specifically what you are looking for when you compare quotes with