Risky Business: Underinsured Against Climate Disaster

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By Climate One and Climate One from The Commonwealth Club. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people in high-risk disaster areas across the US have been dropped from their insurance policies, leaving them both physically and financially vulnerable. At the same time, premiums have sky-rocketed, making insuring homes and businesses out of reach for many. And federal insurance and relief programs have come under scrutiny for payouts that contribute to inequality.

The insurance industry wasn’t set up to account for climate change, which is increasing the frequency, scale and severity of disaster claims. From Hurricane Ian flooding communities across the coast of Florida to fires in the Pacific Northwest, and further storm damage from Puerto Rico to Nova Scotia, we’ve seen frequent and fierce weather take lives and devastate communities. As more people and property face loss due to extreme weather events, who will pay to protect and rebuild communities? And what policies are being constructed to help the insurance industry stay afloat?

Guests:

Junia Howell, Urban Sociologist, University of Illinois Chicago

Simon Young, Senior Director, Climate and Resilience Hub, Willis Towers Watson

Carolyn Kousky, Associate Vice President for Economics and Policy, Environmental Defense Fund; author of Understanding Disaster Insurance: New Tools for a More Resilient Future

Umair Irfan, Climate and Covid Reporter, VOX

Eric Letvin, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Mitigation, FEMA

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