Semafor: "Lawmakers' Approach to the Insurance Crisis is Counterproductive"

A long-form newsletter about natural disaster insurance quotes RFF Senior Fellow Margaret Walls and cites two recent RFF papers.

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June 9, 2023

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The problem with allowing rates to rise precipitously or with cutting off public insurance is that such changes are likely to fall most heavily on low-income households. There’s a misperception that homes in fire-prone forests or along beaches are mostly vacation properties for the wealthy, said Margaret Walls, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future, a research nonprofit. In fact, homes in high-risk areas, precisely because they are high risk, have historically been less expensive, and therefore drawn lower-income buyers. Now, low-income zip codes may be more likely to have their policies canceled because of wildfire risk, Walls found. A separate RFF study in February also found that accurate pricing of flood risk would lower the value of homes owned by low-income families nationwide by up to 10 percent.

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