“We are rapidly moving to a place where the cost of insurance will make the most at-risk homes effectively uninsurable,” Matthew Eby, First Street Foundation founder and CEO, said. Credit: Steve Helber/AP “We are rapidly moving to a place where the cost of insurance will make the most at-risk homes effectively uninsurable,” Matthew Eby, First Street Foundation founder and CEO, said. Credit: Steve Helber/AP

Across the country, some 39 million properties — roughly 27% of the total proprieties in the continental U.S. — are at high risk of damage from flooding, wildfires or hurricanes, but those risks aren’t reflected in the insurance premiums collected to cover them. As a result of these artificially suppressed insurance rates, these properties are “significantly overvalued,” according to The First Street Foundation.

The climate risk-focused nonprofit reported that 12 million properties outside of FEMA-designated flood zones face significant flood risks, while 23.9 million properties have a high likelihood of facing destructive 3-second wind gusts. A further 4.4 million properties are in ZIP codes that have wildfire risks so severe that an average of at least 10 buildings are expected to burn down annually.

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Steve Hallo

Steve Hallo is managing editor of PropertyCasualty360.com. He can be reached at [email protected].  

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