Climate Change Drives Up Insurance Rates, Drives Away Insurers


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Homeowners and businesses in coastal states are finding it increasingly difficult to afford—or, with many insurers packing up and leaving, even obtain—insurance, especially in a warming post-Hurricane Katrina world, according to a report by Environmental Defense.

In "Blown Away: How Global Warming Is Eroding the Availability of Insurance Coverage in America's Coastal States" (PDF), the non-profit notes that, with record losses and payouts that far exceed premiums of late, insurance rates are doubling or even tripling. Some companies are taking a more extreme tack: Allstate, one of the nation’s largest insurance providers, for instance, has cut off coverage for 40,000 coastal homeowners in New York, and is no longer writing any new policies in Florida.Until the federal government confronts the worsening situation of climate change, says the group, this trend will continue.

"We need a cap on greenhouse gas emissions"—and to give businesses time to plan how to reduce emissions, Melissa Carey, a climate change policy specialist with the group, told reporters during a conference call.

"Climate change is not something we're going to be able to sort of manage away," Carey said. "At a certain point, you're not going to be able to put the coastal states up on stilts or build a big seawall to protect Florida from sea-level rise." ::Deseret News

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