'Let me be very clear, sea level rise is known, it is expected, it is not accidental and so it will NOT be insured' - Tim Grafton, NZ Insurance Council

'Let me be very clear, sea level rise is known, it is expected, it is not accidental and so it wi...

Insurer here. People buying or building in hazard zones will be uninsurable in the next few years. Blanket bans on swathes of land for earthquake flood and landslip risk are becoming the norm and are growing in scope and complexity.

Insurers are essentially a pool of a certain demographics risk. Why the fuck should an Aucklander away from the coast pool with people whove purchased over cliffs, in an earthquake zone, or nextto a flooded rivers.

Local uproar over councils releasing information on hazard zones (“omg my beach house price will tank”) has been a shitshow for years and has stalled a lot of intelligent progress.

Basically, insurers are way ahead of the general public in terms of thinking about climate change, and the reinsurers are way ahead of the insurers. If you dont wanna be fucked long term, research these hazards very, very carefully before making a purchase.

The government will wade in soon with regulation to force cover for the uninsurable but boy howdy its gonna be expensive. Think like, 20x or more what a normal person pays now.

I would have to agree in principle to the statement. You got to be wilfully ignorant to think living by the coast will not result in damage to your property, be it from saltwater corrosion, freak waves/tsunamis and sea level rises. Much the same as those who choose to live on hillsides prone to collapse or low lying areas near rivers and lakes.

The same people who earn enough to live in such "prime locations" also preach about common sense and how poor people are at fault for being poor and should have made better decisions, so I have little sympathy when their million dollar mansions cannot be insured.

In saying that insurers in NZ don't have the best reputation either and this sounds more like a way to weasel their way out of potential claims before it happens. Such actions are prudent financially but begs the question how far they'll go to do the same to other people in more ambiguous cases?

Or if you live on the Kapiti Coast then you make the local council pay for an expensive seawall and take the council to court so that they can't put your house on a regional plan showing where at risk housing is (because then your property would devalue)

Went for a walk along the beach the other day and the amount of houses being built right beside the high tide line was astounding. How are they getting building consent for that?

You know what will be interesting. A climate change denier working for an insurance company denying someone payout based on this argument.

Imagine the cognitive dissonance and mental gymnastics that person has to go through lol.

Least corrupt nation in the world. /s


For an example of these costs, see this paper

For a mid-range climate-sensitivity scenario that incorporates dynamic ice sheet melting, the approach yields national estimates of the impacts of storm surge and sea-level rise of $990 billion through 2100 (net of adaptation, cumulative undiscounted 2005US$); GHG mitigation policy reduces the impacts of the mid-range climate-sensitivity estimates by $84 to $100 billion.

It's a US study, but that's $1trn of damage to coastal property values after accounting for adaptation (such as elevating houses). Policies to mitigate GHG reduce these impacts by only 10%.

Climate change has real costs, folks.


Also this paper which showed that after Hurricane Sandy, property values fell even in properties that hadn't been damaged, as people started to realise the risks posed by SLR.

If you own a coastal or flood-risk property, you can expect that climate change will start to damage your property values in the next few decades as disasters become more and more common.

And then they will complain when no one wants to insure them and they find out they are breeching the terms of their mortgage so have to sell. Who is going to buy and uninsurable house that you can't get a mortgage for?

Everyone else is just worse.

Interesting. I reviewed a paper talking about methods to identify those zones today and let's say it's complex and a lot of things have to line up for it to work.

And I agree that the whole subsidizing those in silly locations has got to stop.

Councils saying no to all that easy money? Unheard of.

They'll be fine for a good decade, at least.

Fair enough. It's not an overnight thing either. You have more than enough time to figure something out.

The amount of pressure people put on Councils to build in these locations is huge. It’s all about private property rights, enabling economic use, “I know the risk but I want to build here anyway”.

Do you actually think that an insurance company won't insure them for earthquakes, fire, damage etc just because they won't insure for rising sea levels?

They just leave that out, insure for the rest and the bank will lend because the risk is reasonable.