Effect of global warming/climate change on insurance
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Over the past 15 years, insurance companies have been dramatically affected by climate change. Natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy have forced insurers to pay out billions in legitimate claims from devastated homeowners. Ironically, just two weeks before Sandy ravaged the Northeast United States, Munich RE, a German insurance company, released a report stating that “the overall loss burden from weather catastrophes” between 1980 and 2011 in the United States was slightly over $1 trillion after adjusting for inflation (Munich RE, 2012). After Sandy, American insurers are reevaluating their actuary tables and determining whether they should provide insurance in areas vulnerable to hurricane damage. State Farm spokesman David Beigie stated that “we’re seeing more of everything, and what we’re doing is trying to factor that [climate change] in going forward as we work with others to have a better sense of what the future holds” (Noguchi, 2012). Sandy caused over $50 billion in damage to property in the Northeast, and insurers took a tremendous hit, as the majority of coastal homes in that region have highly expensive insurance clauses....
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