We are certainly living in unique times of record-setting weather-related climate-change catastrophes. Currently, we are close to setting the record for the latest snowfall in New York City history!
I saw an example of this firsthand back in January 2020 when I visited Australia. Before diving in Cairns, the guide showed us pictures of the Great Barrier Reef coral sea bottom today and 10 years ago, and there were stark differences. You could see the sad erosion of the beautiful coral over the past decade.
The year 2022 was one of the most tumultuous climate disaster years in history, a year when we saw the massively destructive Hurricane Ian, an unprecedented number of tornadoes, growing wildfires in the West, and a “bomb cyclone” in late December. The increasing number of natural disasters is not just a U.S. phenomenon as it is happening around the world.
The increasing frequency and intensity of these natural disasters in the United States, combined with soaring inflation, supply chain issues, and labor shortages are having a drastic effect on homeowner’s insurance premiums.
In the first 9 months of 2022 alone there were 15 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters:
This past December, we had the Christmas bomb cyclone (known as Winter Storm Elliot) that threw a blanket of arctic freeze across large swaths of the country, causing an estimated $5.4 billion in insured losses in 42 states, according to Karen Clark & Co.
There are a few things to note about the list of calamities:
As per Time Magazine’s website www.Time.com, a massive hurricane, drought, and 15 other natural disasters across the USA collectively racked up $165 billion in damages and killed at least 474 people in 2022.
According to NOAA, (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) 2022 was our nation’s third most expensive year for billion-dollar disasters following 2017 ($373.2 billion) and 2005 ($253.5 billion) based on NOAA’s metrics.
Hurricane Ian was the year’s costliest catastrophe and the second-largest insured loss on record after Hurricane Katrina. These events, plus the cost of repairing and rebuilding buildings and infrastructure are also on the rise thanks to increasing material and labor costs. These factors are having a major effect on homeowners’ insurance.
Homeowner insurance rates rose 12.1% on average nationwide in 2022 from the year prior; however, people living in disaster-prone areas are seeing much higher rates. In the case of Florida and California, many homeowners are unable to find insurance for their homes or face two, three or four-fold increases in their rates.
You might be asking yourself what this all means. It means homeowners should be shopping home and flood insurance rates every year. It also means, before buying a new home, extra research needs to be done on homeowners and flood rates as well as surveys on elevation! I was amazed to find out after Superstorm Sandy that the elevation on one side of the beach block on 137th street in Belle Harbor was 6 feet higher than the other side of the block.
Feel free to reach out to me for competitive home and flood quotes at Rob@InsuranceDoctor.us.