TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Late last week, State Farm announced it won’t be accepting any new homeowners insurance policy applications in California. State Farm is the state’s biggest homeowner insurance provider.
Insurance companies limiting business or pulling out of a state will come as no surprise to Floridians who have seen this many times before. The culprit in California is similar to Florida — extreme weather and the high cost of rebuilding.
This is leading to a scarcity of available policies and much higher prices, year over year.
Extreme weather has always existed, but there is no doubt it is increasing. In the West, wildfires are becoming bigger. Most of the largest wildfires in states like California and Colorado have happened in the past few years.
Meanwhile, over the oceans, there is a trend for hurricanes to get stronger and intensify more rapidly – resulting in greater damage – due to warming waters and extra energy available to fuel storms.
In both cases, this increase in extreme weather, and the impacts on insurance prices is directly related to climate change. Climate change is already having tangible effects on our lives in terms of higher prices and this is just the beginning.
So for this week’s Climate Classroom, we speak to Steve Bowen, Chief Science Officer from Gallagher Re, a global reinsurance broker.
Steve will help put the homeowners’ insurance dilemma in perspective and help us understand how climate and extreme weather are reshaping the industry. We’ll ask him if he sees any obvious solutions to the growing problem.