Climate change and house insurance: is your home at risk of losing cover?
It’s estimated that 10,000 homes will lose cover in the next 10-15 years.
By Rebecca Styles
Investigative Team Leader | Kaiārahi Kapa Mātoro
You pay your house insurance premium on time and expect the insurer to be there if your house is flooded. But given the increase in extreme weather events brought on by climate change, that may not always be the case.
Belinda Storey, an expert in climate risk and how it relates to insurance, has estimated that 10,000 houses will begin to lose insurance in the next 10-15 years, and “along the coast, that figure could easily be as high as 40,000”.
Houses on flood plains, alongside rivers, will also be affected by insurance retreat as stormy weather increases. This is what climate change scientists predict, although it’s likely to take longer than the projected 10-15 years for those on the coast, she said.
To protect our homes and bank balances from these risks, we buy insurance. By doing so, we’re transferring the risk of something happening to our home on to an insurer, which will bail us out if the worst happens. Yet Storey’s research suggests this may not always be the case.
Assessing the risks
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