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Global Warming—Impacting Insurance Losses and Claims

Posted on May 19, 2013

In a recent survey, slightly more than half of Americans indicated that they feel global warming is impacting their local weather. And, many believe that the weather is getting especially worse. This opinion stems from the powerful storms that many homeowners and business owners in the nation sustained, such as Superstorms Sandy and Nemo, the drought in the Midwest and other extreme weather events.

This nationwide study conducted by Yale University researchers looked at survey data from 1,045 adults, age 18 and older. The adults were chosen randomly between April 8 to 15, and the findings were published in Climate Change in the American Mind.

The researchers discovered the following:

  • Two out of three surveyed believe the weather has gotten worse over the past several years
  • Just over half surveyed indicated that their local weather has gotten worse
  • About 85% of Americans said they experienced an extreme weather event in the past year, with 60% citing high wind damage and 51% indicating extreme heat
  • 58% of Americans (six in ten surveyed) believe global warming is affecting weather in the U.S., making extreme weather events “more severe”
  • Only 11% (one in ten surveyed) believe weather has gotten better over the past several years

The survey also found that about 80% of Americas have close friends or family who experienced some form of extreme weather in the past year. The types of extreme weather experienced included high winds (47%), extreme heat wave (46%), extreme snowstorm (39%), extreme cold temperatures (39%), extreme rainstorm (37%), or a drought (35%).

Interestingly enough, 54% of those surveyed believe a natural disaster is very or somewhat likely to occur this year due to extreme weather. Scientists also predict that in the future, global warming will cause more extreme weather, property damage and other damages.

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