When insurers get serious about climate change, EVERYBODY gets serious about climate change
United Services Automobile Association (USAA), a “most-admired” company in many different rankings, has decided not to insure multiple homes in FL for one policyholder — the first step in what will eventually be the revolt of the insurance companies against climate denialists (and against Florida legislators who want policyholders in other states to share the costs of insuring the damages from more intense and frequent hurricane strikes).
This is great news (unless you own multiple Florida homes).
The insurance industry has long been the sleeping giant of climate policy response. A lot of very red states have a lot to lose from climate disruption, and the threat of finding your property uninsurable gives you a whole new perspective on whether we need to do something on climate before the tipping points are reached.
USAA to restrict new business in Florida
Due to the current state of the Florida insurance market, USAA is changing how it underwrites homeowner, renter and fire policies in that state.
Florida politics have severely restricted USAA’s ability to charge adequate property insurance rates for the risk the association bears on behalf of its Florida members. These actions jeopardize our ability to protect the long-term viability of the association, as well as the assets of our members. Please consider the following facts:
- Over the past 10 years, USAA has paid approximately $220 million more in Florida homeowner insurance losses and expenses than it has collected in Florida homeowner premiums.
- Florida residents account for 49 percent of USAA’s exposure to natural disaster risk, yet make up only 9 percent of USAA policyholders and pay 12 percent of USAA’s property insurance premiums.
- With more than $2 trillion in coastal property exposed to the risk of catastrophic hurricanes — and a history of frequent, strong storms across the state — Florida has the most challenging property insurance market in the country.
Therefore, the State of Florida has left us no choice but to take the following actions in order to limit potential future losses, and to protect the association and its members.
- USAA will only provide new homeowner or renter insurance policies for the primary residences of active military members required to move to the state pursuant to military orders.
- If your primary residence is in Florida and insured by USAA, USAA will continue to underwrite your existing homeowner or renter policy.
- If your primary residence is located outside of Florida and insured by USAA, USAA will continue to underwrite one existing homeowner, fire, or renter policy in Florida.
- Property insurance policies in Florida in excess of those cited above will be non-renewed upon written notice from USAA and in accordance with Florida’s laws and regulations. We expect this change to affect about 10 percent of our 270,000 Florida members.