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How to Insure Against Damages Related to Climate Change


You have a lot to think about every day. Between worries about bills, work, health, relationships and other pressing issues, you might not have a lot of time to focus on climate change. That could be a mistake. Although it’s easy to ignore a threat that isn’t immediate, natural disasters do appear to be increasing in frequency and severity, and this trend could have a very direct, very devastating impact on you and your family. Take some time to consider the risk – and to make sure you have the right insurance coverage.

The 2020 Hurricane Season

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been especially active. All of the pre-determined hurricane names were used, and Greek letters had to be used for storms that formed in the latter part of the season. According to AccuWeather, this is only the second time this has happened, and the total of 30 named storms was record-breaking. The storms also intensified very quickly this year.

The Pacific had a relatively mild hurricane season. According to Hawaii News Now, there were four hurricanes and two major hurricanes in the below-average season. Hurricane Douglas posed a significant threat in July, but thankfully, the Category 4 storm did not make landfall in Hawaii.

Residents should not assume they will be so lucky next year, or the year after that. Major catastrophes, including hurricanes and other natural disasters, appear to be on the rise and causing more damage. According to a statement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. was hit by 16 billion-dollar disasters in the first nine months of 2020. This makes 2020 the sixth consecutive year with at least 10 storms with losses exceeding $1 billion.

Climate change appears to be part of the reason. According to USGS, climate change may cause storms to become more intense as more water vapor evaporates into their air and sea levels rise.

The Threat of Climate Change

For people living in coastal areas, rising sea levels and increased storm intensity should be a major concern. It’s not just hypothetical, either. Hurricanes have struck before, and they will do so again. It’s just a matter of time – yet it’s easy to forget about when you’re not currently dealing with a storm. By then, unfortunately, it will be too late to do much.

You can prepare for this risk ahead of time by making sure you have a solid emergency plan in place and by making sure your home is built to resist hurricanes – for example, with hurricane impact-resistant windows and doors, as well as roofing fasteners designed to withstand strong storms.

Your preparations should also include insurance.

Hurricane Insurance Coverage in Hawaii

In Hawaii, hurricane insurance coverage is provided separately from homeowners insurance and provides coverage for wind-related damage. Flood damage is covered through another separate policy. If you carry a mortgage, you may be required to have homeowners, hurricane and flood insurance. These three insurance types form a foundation of coverage for homeowners.

You may also want an additional insurance policy, one that can provide a quick payout to help with the immediate costs of a hurricane.

Contact your independent agent to learn more about coverage options.  If you don't have an agent, click here