This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Insurers have warned that climate change could make coverage for ordinary people unaffordable after the world’s largest reinsurance firm blamed global warming for $24 billion of losses in the Californian wildfires.
Ernst Rauch, Munich Re’s chief climatologist, told the Guardian that the costs could soon be widely felt, with premium rises already under discussion with clients holding asset concentrations in vulnerable parts of the state.
“If the risk from wildfires, flooding, storms, or hail is increasing then the only sustainable option we have is to adjust our risk prices accordingly. In the long run it might become a social issue,” he said after Munich Re published a report into climate change’s impact on wildfires. “Affordability is so critical [because] some people on low and average incomes in some regions will no longer be able to buy insurance.”
The lion’s share of California’s 20 worst forest blazes since the 1930s have occurred this millennium, in years characterized by abnormally high summer temperatures and “exceptional dryn... Read more