Its official, September is the new August. It’s hard to keep up with the weather forecast and sometimes the question of whether to take a raincoat, carry a brolly or wear a sun-top can be wardrobe dilemmas all on the same morning. It’s all so unpredictable. And it’s not just your wardrobe this can affect. Insurance companies are warning that climate change could increase our premiums on house insurance.
The aftermath of major high profile incidents, such as Hurricane Katrina, has raised questions over concerns that such weather extremes are part of a pattern of global climate change. If so, severe weather could become a much commoner problem for us all. And the Association of British Insurers has said that climate change is beginning to have a very serious impact on insurers.
It isn’t just house owners who are unprepared for extreme weather effects, 90 % of small businesses in high risk flood locations do not have adequate insurance.
There is a fear that many people are dismissing the threat of climate change or underplaying how serious its impact could be.
Disaster from extreme weather always happens to someone else, right? We’re used to sitting in our safe homes observing the nightmares of others, usually in a far away, exotic country, not even thinking about our own house insurance or safety. But the flooding in the Cornwall town of Boscastle in the summer of 2004 showed what a nightmare it can be in the UK – and the devastating effect flooding can have on homes.
According to the Met Office, tornadoes in the UK are more common than we might think but usually they are too small to notice. An American meteorologist said the UK has the highest frequency of reported tornadoes per unit area in the world (even if they are too small to have an impact). Whether or not tornados should affect your house insurance is becoming a very real worry.
The Birmingham Tornado
It’s been years since the Birmingham Tornado hit – a warning that we shouldn’t take climate change lightly. The storm damaged over 600 homes with winds around 140 mph and tornadoes also hit areas in Peterborough , Leicestershire and Lincolnshire that same day. For those who don’t have any house insurance, such disasters can have devastating financial fall out.
Reaping the cost
As global climate changes change, so too do weather patterns across the UK . The last 15 years has seen some of the worst weather on record in the UK . The cost of repairing damaged homes has been estimated at more than £9 billion. Can you afford not to have adequate house insurance?
Increased house insurance?
The Association of British Insures has estimated that claims could triple as a result of climate change. Investigations into building flood defences and changing building regulations to make property more resistant are all ways of addressing the problem.
1. The average global surface temperatures have risen by 0.6C in the last 140 years.
2. It is estimated many water-scarce regions now will probably become thirstier.
3. It is feared sea levels may rise, flooding coastal areas.
4. Heat waves, droughts, floods and storm could all increase as weather patterns change.