Don’t Look: Manager Adam McKay Says California Home Insurance Has Been Canceled Due To Weather-Related Disasters

The director of the thinly veiled allegory of the climate crisis Don’t look up said his home insurance was canceled due to weather-related disasters.

Adam McKay, whose hit film chronicles an astronomy student’s doomed campaign to persuade world leaders to stop a huge comet from hitting Earth, said on Friday he was among a growing number of ‘Americans whose insurers had balked at the cost of global warming.

“I just had my homeowners insurance canceled because Southern California is at too high a risk for fires and floods,” he tweeted, including an emoji of a comet. “This shit is real and happening right now. #EndFossilFuels #DontLookUp”.

The Golden State has suffered unusually severe wildfires and droughts in recent years, which scientists believe are partly due to global warming. In some years, California insurers paid $1.70 for every dollar they took in premiums.

Other states are also affected, with annual premiums rising rapidly in Florida and Louisiana, two coastal states vulnerable to climate change-related flooding. The Insurance Information Institute said the number of homeowners enrolled in state-sponsored insurance programs, such as California’s FAIR plan, is also on the rise.

2021 was the third costliest year for natural disasters in more than two centuries, behind only 2017 and 2005, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA). The agency recorded 20 different weather events causing more than $1 billion in damage, totaling $145 billion (£106 billion).

Many home insurance plans don’t include natural disasters, and some cities hit by hurricanes in 2020 have since seen steep increases in mortgage default rates as residents struggle to pay for repairs or premiums additional insurance. Some plans even cover natural disasters but not “named storms”, i.e. hurricanes large enough to be given a name.

The crisis has led the California state government to impose “temporary” one-year moratoriums on insurance termination for three consecutive years. The bans only apply to specific areas, and it’s unclear if McKay’s home is in any of them.

“Losing your insurance should be the last thing on anyone’s mind after surviving a devastating fire,” Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said in 2020, taking steps to expand our competitive marketplace.

The White House is also concerned, releasing a 40-page plan to reform the insurance and housing markets. “If this year has shown us anything, it’s that climate change poses an ongoing, urgent and systemic risk to our economy and to the lives and livelihoods of ordinary Americans,” said the president’s climate adviser, Gina McCarthy.

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