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The Possible Collapse of the U.S. Home Insurance System

The Daily

The New York Times

News, Daily News

4.597.8K Ratings

🗓️ 15 May 2024

⏱️ 24 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Across the United States, more frequent extreme weather is starting to cause the home insurance market to buckle, even for those who have paid their premiums dutifully year after year. Christopher Flavelle, a climate reporter, discusses a Times investigation into one of the most consequential effects of the changes.

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From the New York Times, I'm Sabrina Tavernisie, and this is the Daily.


Today, my colleague Christopher Flavell, on a Times investigation into one of the least known and most consequential effects of climate change, insurance, and why it may now be a concern for every


homeowner in the country. It's Wednesday, May 15th. So Chris you and I talked a while ago about how climate change was really wreaking


havoc in the insurance market in Florida. You've just done an investigation that takes a look


into the insurance markets more broadly and more deeply. Tell us about it.


Yeah, so I cover climate change in particular the way climate shocks affect different parts of American life and insurance has become a really big part of that coverage and Florida is a great example as hurricanes have gotten worse and more frequent


insurers are paying out more and more money to rebuild people's homes. And that's driving up insurance costs


and ultimately driving up the cost of owning a home


in Florida.


So we're already seeing that climate impact on the housing market in Florida.


My colleagues and I started to think, well, could it be that that kind of disruption


is also happening in other states, not just in the sort of obvious


coastal states, but maybe even through the middle of the US. So we set out to find out


just how much it is happening, how much that Florida kind of turmoil


has in fact become really a contagion that is spreading across the country.


So how did you go about reporting this? I mean where did you start?


All we knew at the start of this was that there was reason to think this might be a


problem. If you just look at how the federal government tracks disasters around the country,


there's been a big increase almost every year in the number and severity of all kinds of disasters around the country.


So we thought, okay, it's worth trying to find out.


What does that mean for insurers?


The problem is getting data on the insurance industry is actually really hard. There's no federal


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