Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Homeowners Insurance

This is good.
And sure, you don’t have to be great at math to see that an annual insurance bill that compounds at something like 50% a year is, in short order, going to make it economically stupid/ impossible to keep living in your hurricane/ fire-prone home. But banks won’t write mortgages on uninsurable property. This sure is a pickle! What to do? The states themselves, desperate to look like they are solving the problem, have their own (expensive) insurance, which they sell to homeowners who can’t get anything better. But these state insurance firms are, if we’re being honest, a comforting fiction. State governments do not possess enough money to make homeowners whole in the event of a really bad disaster, like a major hurricane plowing through South Florida. Just as a point of perspective, last September Hurricane Ian—which could have been worse!—caused $100 billion in total losses, $60 billion of which was insured. One hundred billion dollars is equal to the total budget of the State of Florida. Unless you think Ron DeSantis is going to be holding some very creative yard sales after the next hurricane, it is clear that the system is marching further towards absurdity with every passing year, as private insurers decide the risk is just not worth it.
The cool kid's philosopher had the answer: people can just sell their homes and move.