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and debris, have mold starting to grow,
and be uninhabitable. People in these situations, even if they did not have flood
insurance, qualify for disaster aid.
Some insureds might be under the
impression that insurance will save
them from having to pay out of pocket
for damage that occurs to their property
due to climate changes, but this may
not be the case. According to NASA, although the Earth’s climate has changed
throughout history, the current warming trend is particularly significant because it is more likely a result of human
activity than any of the other warming
trends in history.
There are several indications of this
warming trend including the global tem-
perature rise, warming oceans, shrinking
ice sheets, glacial retreat, decreased snow
cover, sea level rise, and extreme high
temperature and intense rainfall events.
With these changes to our climate, the
landscape to our country is also going to
change in the near future. Many of these
changes will create damaging events
such as flooding that is not covered un-
der standard homeowner policies. As the
number of wildfires grows, this in turn
causes greater risk of flooding, mudflows
and landslides, again factors not covered
by the average policy.
Increasing global temperatures and
warming oceans result in a greater likeli-
hood of hurricanes and flooding in some
areas. This happened in 2017, when 60
inches of rain fell from Hurricane Har-
vey in Texas alone, destroying the U.S.
According to the Climate Science Spe-
cial Report: Fourth National Climate
Assessment, global sea level has risen by
about seven to eight inches since 1900;
three of those inches have occurred since
1993. Human-caused climate change has
made a substantial contribution to the sea
level rise since 1900. Based on this trend,
it is likely that sea level will rise by six
inches by 2030, and from 1.00 to 4. 3 feet
Assuming that storm characteristics
do not change, the predicted sea level rise
will increase the frequency and extent of
extreme flooding that is associated with
coastal storms, such as hurricanes and
nor’easters. A Zillow climate change re-
port states scientists predict that by the
year 2100, almost 300 U.S. cities will lose
at least half of their homes, and 36 U.S.
cities will be completely lost.
If the climate trends continue, insuring
beachfront property will soon be much
more of a risk than it will be worth.
Hannah Smith ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is an
editor with FC&S Online, the authority
on insurance coverage interpretation
and analysis for the P&C industry. It is the
resource agents, brokers, risk managers,
underwriters and adjusters rely on to
research commercial and personal lines