US Climate-related Disaster Insurance “Inaccessible, Unaffordable” – Ceres

A report led by non-profit Ceres has found that US climate-related disaster insurance is often “inaccessible, unaffordable, or does not meet the needs of certain populations”. The report, written alongside the ESG Initiative and Wharton Climate Centre at the Wharton School, said that low- to moderate-income households and communities of colour are “disproportionally affected” by climate disasters and more likely to experience financial shocks. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has estimated that in the last five years large climate-related disasters have cost the US up to US$150 billion annually, but the communities most likely to “bear the brunt of climate-related disasters” are those from minority backgrounds. The report highlights five principles which it recommends be adopted to establish a more “inclusive insurance system”, which looks to be “affordable, accessible, transparent, people-centred, and just”. This includes introducing new types of coverage in both private and public formats for insurance to be fully inclusive, subsidising insurance for the most vulnerable households by both the public sector and private sectors and creating a “Community Reinvestment Act” for the insurance sector to “extend insurance coverage to unserved and underserved populations”. 

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