Climate change is often a controversial issue, especially when the federal government is concerned. The insurance industry, however, is beginning to take the matter more seriously, as a new report shows that purely environmental factors may be causing the high costs seen in the health care system. The report comes from the Natural Resources Defense Council, an international environmental advocacy group based in New York. The report suggests that natural disasters that have struck the U.S. in the past decade may be having a significant impact on the health of the nation.
According to the report, the past ten years of natural disasters have cost the U.S. more than $14 billion. Extreme weather has certainly taken a toll on the insurance industry, as insurers have struggled to mitigate the impact of two consecutive years of disastrous events, some of which are being linked to climate change by the industry. These disasters – floods, hurricanes and droughts – have contributed to a spike in health care costs in recent years, according to the report.
The authors of the report suggest that the issue lies in climate change. As the planet warms, natural disasters are expected to become more frequent and powerful. The issue is shrouded in controversy, but the insurance industry has a long history of taking the possibility of climate change very seriously. As the costs continue to mount, insurers may soon begin pressuring the federal government to take a more aggressive stance on the issue by instituting new legislations that would, essentially, make the nation “weather proof.”