Hurricane Irene’s residue is likely to include a confusing debate over whether insurers or property owners are responsible for storm-caused water damage.
As Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Sept. 5 issue, the industry has absorbed many lessons from Sept. 11 about anticipating risk. One is that the recent spate of weather extremes is likely to continue -- and the insurance market must reflect that.
Interestingly, this puts the industry at odds with a number of Republican candidates who have made questioning climate change a not-insignificant part of their campaign strategy.
Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann dispute whether global warming is man-made.
Perry suggests that climate is affected by many variables, which scientists can manipulate “so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects.”
Mitt Romney is on the fence. Only Jon Huntsman Jr. has declared definitively that he trusts scientists on global warming.
Politicians have been known to dissemble about risk because voters generally don’t like to hear bad news.
The insurance industry makes its money telling it to you straight -- how long you’ll probably live, what price your home will fetch, whether to repair or trade in your car.