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Rising home insurance rates point to climate change

Insurance companies don’t care if you believe in climate change or not: Your premiums are going up anyhow.

NPR reported Monday that home insurance premiums are going up across the board in response to the record number of tornadoes, floods, fires, blizzards and other heavy weather that hit the country in 2011.

The piece features insurance executives at major firms such as Allstate and State Farm saying they are raising rates as much as 10%. 

The president of the Insurance Information Institute, a New York-based industry association, says the weather caused about $35 billion of insured damages last year in the U.S. in events that caused a total of $70 billion in economic losses.

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Climate change is not mentioned in the piece, but scientists who have been studying the climate and atmospheric conditions for decades say global warming may be contributing to more severe drought, bigger storms and increased precipitation.

The insurance execs interviewed allude to this by noting that in the past certain areas of the U.S. were targeted for higher rates because of earthquakes or frequent hurricanes or flooding. Now? There are so many disasters year upon year that the whole country is being reassessed for risk.

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