Understanding the Coastal Erosion Risk

Erosion is a process that breaks down and removes natural materials to shape landscapes and landforms all across the world. Coastal erosion mainly affects coastlines, beaches, bluffs and cliffs and is typically caused by storms, flooding, strong waves and sea level rise. Over time, the coastal erosion rate has accelerated, as a result of weather patterns and other factors. While the process of coastal erosion is natural and doesn’t harm the environment, when homes, roads and other structures are involved, it can cause costly damage and devastation to communities located on the coast, and can lead to headaches for coastal property owners and insurers.

A Costly Risk for Coastal Property Owners

In the United States, coastal erosion is responsible for property damage and losses of up to $500 million per year, which includes both structural damages and complete loss of land. On top of these losses, hundreds of millions of additional dollars are spent each year by federal and local government agencies as well as property owners themselves to try and mitigate the effects of erosion and reinforce and restore the affected bluffs and beaches. However, many of these efforts may not be helpful in the long term. According to reports from geologists studying sea level rise and coastal erosion, most of the U.S. ocean coastline is now eroding faster than ever. These erosion rates vary greatly based on factors such as weather, elevation and density of population, but some regions can see as much as 25 feet of coastline recession per year or more.

Fight or Flight?

While some communities may be devastated by just a few feet of coastline erosion in one year, other communities can withstand much more – for now, at least. With the force of nature working against them, coastal communities and homeowners are being made to decide whether or not they can continue to spend time and money fighting the effects of coastal erosion. Even with risk reduction measures, some areas remain constantly in danger during severe storms, which have been predicted to increase in strength and frequency as climate continues to change. The alternative choice, however, would mean giving up coastal homes and property that not only have a significant amount of money investment into them, but likely have a lot of sentimental meaning as well.

Insurance agents with coastal clients may be concerned about how these environmental changes may impact the insurability of their clients in the future. At this time many developers who are working on coastal development or rebuilding projects aren’t deterred by the rising insurance rates. As long as consumers can afford the rising costs of coastal property, it’s likely that homes and businesses won’t be retreating from their coastal locations until they have no other choice.

About AmSuisse

Formed in 2013, AmSuisse, Inc. has quickly distinguished itself as a wholesale operation that specializes in working very closely with our agents and broker partners to develop responsive, individualized service for each client. Our unparalleled writing support, industry-specific expertise, marketing support, responsive proposals and quotes, strong customer service, and strong relationships with our carrier partners have all helped us to provide the best possible coverage for our clients. To learn more about our available coverage, contact us today at (800) 485-0229 to speak with one of our representatives.