Monday, December 25, 2006

Let's see the denialists spin this bit of insurance news

If denialists bother to acknowledge how concerned the insurance industry is with global warming, they say it's just a scam to justify increasing insurance premiums.

So now, this piece of news, from "Global Warming Ate My Insurance Policy":

Allstate plans to stop offering property insurance in nearly a dozen counties along the Chesapeake Bay starting in February.

The reason: the increased risk of hurricane damage due to rising ocean temperatures, possibly caused by global warming.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Allstate is part of a growing number of insurance companies that are refusing to cover hurricane-prone areas. The trend started in Florida, which sustained millions of dollars in damage from Hurricane Andrew, and is now moving up to our neck of the woods.

Nationwide Mutual Insurance decided to limit the amount of business it does in coastal areas two years ago and not do any new business in two ZIP codes near Ocean City, Md.

Hard to fit this action with the supposed motive of trying to justify rate increases. I expect the denialists will pirouette with the agility of Rush Limbaugh in a tutu, and come up with a new, completely different explanation: insurance companies are moving out for reasons of their own, and use global warming as a convenient excuse.

That doesn't really work though - why come up with an explanation that provides a justification for the competitors who remain in those areas to jack up the rates?

I should note it's not completely clear if the insurers are expressly relying on global warming concerns as their reason for butting out, but it seems likely. We can list inability to get insurance coverage as a likely present-day cost of global warming.

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