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Natural disasters are making it harder for you to insure your home — and costing homeowners thousands

Dan Latu   

Natural disasters are making it harder for you to insure your home — and costing homeowners thousands
  • Reinsurance costs, emergency backstops for insurance companies, have risen in some states by 40%.
  • Those costs are being passed on to homeowners in states like Florida and California.

Earlier this year, Florida resident Danny Collins received a surprise in the mail: His monthly mortgage payment was going up $1,000.

Collins' Hobe Sound home was re-zoned because of the increased risk of flooding in Florida and the bank holding his mortgage purchased new insurance without notifying Collins. It was a shock, and though he was able to negotiate it down, it's still costing him an extra $8,000 this year.

"It was really frustrating because it's not ever talked about. These are the issues that are plaguing Florida," Collins told Insider. "Florida will be underwater soon. That's just the reality."

The climate crisis is impacting the cost of homeownership nationwide, as insurance companies adjust their models based on the shifting frequency and scale of natural disasters.

We want to hear from you: Have your homeownership costs gone up because of increasing insurance premiums due to more frequent disasters? Is your community concerned about the climate crisis' impact on affordability? Did higher insurance rates owing to past climate-related events play a role in your decision to move? Tell us how the climate crisis is affecting you and where you live. Email reporter Dan Latu at

Homeowners left in a lurch

In California, homeowner Nick told Insider that he couldn't find affordable insurance for his $100,000 cabin in the Klamath National Forest. The increasing risk of seasonal wildfires made many plans too expensive.

So when the horrific McKinney fire tore through his community in 2022, Nick, who asked Insider to withhold his last name because of legal action related to the fire, wasn't prepared and lost his entire house.

"We never thought the fires could be this frequent and this bad," he told Insider.

Even reinsurance plans, which are essentially emergency insurance for insurance providers when disasters are too costly, have spiked 40% this year in some parts of the country, according to the New York Times.

Insurers have pointed to these reinsurance jumps as being behind their own cost-cutting decisions. When State Farm announced a pullback on some policies available in California, the insurance giant explained it was due in part to "a challenging reinsurance market."

In Florida, Bob Stephens told Insider it feels like "living on the Titanic." Currently, the state-backed Citizens Insurance plan does not cover homes that would cost more than $1 million to rebuild, leaving Stephens' $3 million property in a lurch.

"You know you're going down. How are you going to stop it?" he said.

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