Homeowners And Insurance Companies Will Grapple With Climate Change In 2021
In the year 2020 we saw hurricanes and wildfires ravage the United States. Now, insurance companies are raising rates and dropping customers across the board. According to Accuweather, in 2018 alone, the wildfires in California cost residents and insureres $400 billion, and 85 people were killed. While 2019 was a relatively calm year for California, Forbes reports that in 2020 nearly 4.5 million acres were burned. In addition to these wildfires, 2020 has been a record year for hurricanes along the East coast and the Gulf coast. The World Meteorological Service depleted its annual list of names and resorted to using the Greek alphabet to name storms. Forbes shares that an annual survey by financial consultant Max Rudolph found that insurers now identify climate change as their “primary concern.” However, they have yet to offer a solution, and instead focus the responsibility on homeowners.
As homeowners are forced to rebuild and repair their homes as well as pay an ever rising premium, they begin to turn to insurers of last resort. In California, the FAIR plan reached 200,000 insured homeowners in July 2020. Mark Friedlander, an Insurance Information Institute representative at Citizens Property Insurance Corp. of Florida tells Forbes that they are approaching half a million policyholders. Still, insurers find ways to protect themselves at the expense of policyholders, digging into their “bag of tricks.” Forbes says those who do not read the voluminous annual contract might not know that their coverage does not extend to “named storms.” Further fearing climate change, insurers may restrict rebuilding, and require features to protect the home from natural disasters. Some of these prevention measures, such as fire barriers, can be quite expensive. Consumer advocates such as Bob Hunter, the director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, and Executive Director Amy Bach of San Francisco-based consumer advocate group United Policyholders say that while the rising cost of insurance is inevitable, insurance companies can do more to help policyholders on the micro level. Homeowners are outraged with their home insurers, and are taking to the streets to protest.
At ILG, our experienced and aggressive attorneys take the time to analyze and interpret your policy and understand the full measure of damages available to you. We work with construction experts, restoration professionals and others to determine the facts.
Don’t delay and contact us today for a free consultation in Florida. The Insurance Litigation Group will walk you through the terms of your insurance policy and help you recover the full extent of your covered losses.