ESA/A.Gerst, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO ID: 401U3025

Hurricanes Threaten 32 Million U.S. Homes

More than 32 million homes on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk of sustaining hurricane wind damage, according to a report released yesterday that provides the first measurement of wind risk in an era of climate change.

The at-risk properties have a combined value of $8.5 trillion, the real estate analytics firm CoreLogic Inc. said in its annual report on hurricane risk.

Previous hurricane reports by CoreLogic, a leading property risk researcher, have estimated only potential storm surge damage from hurricanes. Storm surge is less of a threat than wind, CoreLogic found, estimating that $1.9 trillion worth of property could sustain storm surge damage during the Atlantic hurricane season that began officially yesterday.

“It’s important for people to know: Is it a dual threat or is it mostly wind that I should worry about?” said CoreLogic principal Tom Larsen.

Most properties at risk of storm surge damage are also at risk of hurricane wind damage.

The potential for wind damage has huge implications for insurance companies, which cover wind damage through standard homeowners policies. Flood damage, by contrast, is not covered in most homeowners policies, a distinction that pushes many people to buy separate policies to cover water damage.

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