Note: although this story is from Australia is is a good reminder to revisit your home insurance policies.
Dr Karl Mallon, director of science and systems for Sydney-based consultants Climate Risk, said Australia’s quintessential problem is that “you can build a house which is insurable tomorrow, but is wholly unsuitable 30 years down the track”.
The message follows the release by the independent Climate Council of its latest report, Super-charged storms in Australia, which argues that the nation is highly vulnerable to “storm surges associated with tropical cyclones and extra-tropical cyclones, including [more intense] east coast lows.”
Dr Mallon said that many Australians do not realise that a change in a property’s value does not occur when an extreme weather event takes place, but “when the market realises the event will occur and revalues the house…it’s the homeowner which is the sitting duck in all this.”
He pointed to a “disconnect,” between banks, government planning and the insurance industry, which is leaving Australian homeowners vulnerable to “climate change foreclosure”.
“There are potentially millions and millions of dollars of revaluation that has to happen in the property sector and it’s not going to be pretty. We could end up with suburbs where there is a wholesale collapse in value,” he said, highlighting “erosion, actions of the sea, landslip and ground contraction,” as some of the main impacts which are still largely uninsurable.
“It’s the banks who probably need to lead the charge…to sit down with insurers and planners and say, ‘Will you start providing insurance on this?’.”
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