Home Insurance When insurance companies flee, so do people – Reckon

When insurance companies flee, so do people – Reckon

by Cedric Guzman

Title: The Meltdown: Climate Change Spikes Home Insurance Costs and Forces Americans to Make Tough Decisions

As climate change-induced disasters become more frequent and intense, millions of Americans are facing the mass exodus of home insurance providers from climate-vulnerable states. This trend has led to skyrocketing insurance costs, financial strains on homeowners, and concerns about the feasibility of living in high-risk areas. The escalating crisis not only impacts individuals’ finances but also raises questions about who will have their backs in times of need.

The Exodus of Home Insurance Providers
States like Louisiana, Florida, and California are no strangers to hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, and flooding. In recent years, these states have experienced record levels of damage, prompting home insurance providers to withdraw their services. Climate change and high rebuilding costs have intensified this crisis.

The consequences of insurance providers withdrawing from these states have been dire. According to a Louisiana State University survey, approximately 17% of Louisiana residents lost their home insurance in 2022. Similar situations have unfolded in other states, creating severe financial strains on homeowners and forcing some to consider relocation.

Case Study: The Frisella Family’s Struggle
Stephanie Frisella, a resident of New Orleans, and her husband saw their home insurance costs surge by 80% in just 30 days. Their original underwriter went bankrupt, and the subsequent provider they chose met the same fate. The couple was left with no choice but to resort to the expensive insurer of last resort, Louisiana Citizens. Unfortunately, over the course of 16 months, the Frisellas’ insurance costs more than doubled.

Such financial burdens have drastically altered the lives of homeowners like the Frisellas. The unpredictability of insurers’ viability and the associated costs have led many to make significant life decisions. The fear of not knowing if reliable coverage will be available and the increased financial strain have forced families to cut back on entertainment and hobbies, and sometimes even compelled them to move to more stable areas.

Navigating Life’s Challenges in a Changing Environment
As climate change disrupts lives and instills anxiety, individuals must find ways to address these challenges while staying connected to nature. Eco-therapist Kathryn Dietzway suggests the following practices:

1. Spend regular time unplugged in nature, such as in your backyard, at a local park, or by taking walks in your neighborhood.
2. Practice mindful connections with nature by engaging your senses—observe what you see, smell, hear, feel, and taste.
3. Explore local forest trails, which are known to activate the body’s relaxation response.
4. Take off your shoes and feel the grass beneath your bare feet.
5. Spend 10 minutes mindfully connecting with a tree, observing its branches, colors, roots, etc.
6. Practice deep breathing exercises while outdoors, inhaling for six seconds and exhaling for seven seconds.

Climate Week and Its Broader Impact
Taking place from September 17th to September 24th, Climate Week in New York provides a glimpse of what to expect at the upcoming United Nations climate summit, COP28, scheduled for November. While the event will focus on climate action and green technology, it is also an opportunity to explore issues beyond the conventional understanding of climate change, such as:

1. The role of reducing militarism and warfare in combatting climate change.
2. The impact of colonialism and racism on Africa’s vulnerability to environmental destruction and climate change.
3. The importance of returning land to indigenous people to preserve vital ecosystems like forests, lakes, and rivers.

As climate change intensifies, the mass exodus of home insurance providers from climate-vulnerable states has left Americans with soaring insurance costs and tough decisions to make. The financial strain and uncertainty associated with living in high-risk areas have prompted individuals and families to rethink their futures. Nurturing a connection with nature can help alleviate anxiety amid these challenges. Additionally, it is crucial to consider diverse aspects of climate action beyond the traditional focus. Climate Week and the upcoming COP28 event offer opportunities to engage in these conversations and expand our understanding of climate change and its ramifications.

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