New Zealand: Rising seas could render coastal communities uninsurable
Source: Asia Insurance Review | Dec 2017
Whole communities on New Zealand’s coasts could become uninsurable no-go zones as rising sea levels cause more frequent coastal flooding and tidal surges.
IAG insurance spokesman Mr Bryce Davies made this comment, when asked about the possible impacts of climate change for both homeowner and insurer in New Zealand, according to a report in stuff.co.nz.
A report by the environmental and engineering consultancy Tonkin and Taylor on coastal hazards released last month showed that nearly 25,000 Christchurch houses are at risk of future coastal flooding and 1,000 are at risk from coastal erosion.
In a report, “Preparing New Zealand for Rising Seas” released in 2015, Ms Jan Wright, the then Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, said that about 9,000 homes around the country lie less than 50 centimetres above spring high tide levels.
“This is more than the number of homes that were red-zoned after the Christchurch earthquakes.”
She highlighted the folly of building on land known to be at risk of liquefaction. “We should see allowing new subdivisions on vulnerable coastal land as equally foolish.” A