Login Register Subscribe
Current Issue

Coastal communities’ insured exposures rising with the economy

Reprints

The total insured value of residential and commercial properties in coastal communities in states along the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf Coast of the United States now exceeds $13.838 trillion, according to a report by catastrophe risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide.

This represents a total insured value projection increase for these coastal communities of about $3.196 trillion, or 30.0%, since the Boston-based firm issued its last update to its Coastline at Risk report in 2013.

The report was first issued in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and was updated in 2008. 

In the past three years, the insured value of properties in coastal states increased at a compound annual growth rate of 5% — a rate that will pick up as the economy continues to recover, according to the latest update.

Insured values are rising due to the resurgence of the housing market and rising construction costs that increase replacement values, or the costs to rebuild, which are generally higher in coastal areas, according to the report. 

New York has the highest level of overall exposure, with a total insured value of $5.571 trillion for its residential and commercial properties — 68% of which are located in coastal communities in the state, according to the report. 

Texas was second at an estimated total value of $5.358 trillion, but only 28% of this value is located in coastal communities. 

Florida has the highest concentration of coastal exposure, with 79% of its total insured value of $4.058 trillion located in coastal communities, according to the report. 

Overall, 38% of the total property replacement value in Gulf and East Coast states is located in coastal counties — an exposure that accounts for nearly 16% of the total value of properties in the United States, according to AIR. 

Total insured value of properties is an estimate of the cost to replace structures and their contents, including additional living expenses and business interruption coverage, for all residential and commercial property in the state that is insured or can be insured, according to AIR.