Climate-driven floods, hurricanes, wildfires and heat waves cause billions of dollars of damage every year in the United States. Federal scientists hope that better access to climate data will help one industry adapt: property insurers.PropertyInsurance Industry
Insurance companies are on the hook to pay for repairs after disasters, and even to rebuild entire homes and businesses that are destroyed. The growing cost to insurers was on full display last year, when Hurricane Ian caused more than $100 billion of damage in Florida, at least half of which was insured.
As climate-driven extreme weather gets more common, insurance companies nationwide raise prices, or cancel policies altogether, leaving homeowners in the lurch. Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, Colorado, Oregon and California have all seen insurers fold, cancel policies or leave the state after repeated floods, hurricanes and wildfires.
"More and more Americans are frankly having mother nature barge through their front door," says Roy Wright, who leads the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, an insurance industry-backed research group. "That change in climate comes at a price."