Increasingly destructive hurricane seasons have already worried insurers around the state’s coasts.
Surfside’s collapse has killed at least 97 people at the time of this writing and is now leading to greater concerns about the Florida homeowner insurance market.
The coastal community is already facing increasing pressure from climate change.
Economists now take another look at growing concerns in the Florida home insurance market. You are now looking for parts of the United States where it is too risky to get insurance at a price that homeowners can afford, or to cover at all.
This is not just speculation about where the industry is going. Just days after the building collapsed, insurance companies warned older buildings that their cover would be cut if the mandatory safety inspections were not passed.
This situation is not dissimilar to the situation that California landowners face in wildfire-prone areas. There and in similarly affected areas of the West, insurers have withdrawn from the market because the wildfires are making the properties too risky to secure.
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The changes in the availability of home insurance in Florida are not just affecting private insurers.
In April 2021, the federal government issued changes to the national flood insurance program. Eventually, these changes could cause some policyholders’ premiums to increase five times or more than the amount currently paid for coverage.
“Coastal areas along the Gulf and along the east coast could develop very similar dynamics,” said Carolyn Kousky, executive director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Risk Center, on the situation in Florida.
This trend started even before it could be determined whether climate change played a role in the collapse of the Surfside building. The collapse of the building wasn’t the reason the insurers moved, but it accelerated it. The Florida home insurance industry has already seen and is picking up the trends of increasing heat Humidity and other climate change-related factors that cause buildings to experience faster deterioration, says Jesse Keenan of Tulane University, a specialist on the effects of climate change on the human-built environment.