PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- For many homeowners around the country, climate change could make their insurance dramatically more expensive in the years ahead -- or they could lose their coverage altogether.
We have an exclusive look at the growing concern, using new data from First Street Foundation, a non-profit that tracks climate and insurance trends.
CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy shows us the places in our area that are most at risk.
Many homeowners are already facing this insurance crisis in states like Florida and California. But it will likely affect people in the Pittsburgh area in the years ahead.
According to First Street, it's becoming more expensive to insure property because of natural disasters made worse by climate change.
CBS News analyzed their data, which found the counties most at risk from flood damage.
In Washington County, 12 percent of properties are at risk for higher insurance premiums or losing their coverage. In Westmoreland County, 11 percent of properties and in Allegheny County, 7 percent of homes could have trouble finding affordable insurance.
And looking to the future, 30 years from now, Lawrence County is expected to have the sharpest increase in the number of homes at risk.
"We're at a unique point where climate change is intersecting with economic conditions, including inflation, cost of reinsurance cost of construction. All of those things taken together are actually costing insurance companies a lot more in regards to the claims they're paying out, which means that they either have to raise their premiums to bring more money in, or they have to stop offering coverage," said Jeremy Porter with First Street Foundation.
According to First Street's report, natural disasters worsened by climate change are making it so costly to insure houses, homeowners may eventually pay sharply higher premiums or even lose their coverage altogether. CBS News analyzed First Street's data to find the three counties currently most at risk for a severe insurance "correction" in the Pittsburgh metro area.
The risk is calculated from a combination of factors including damage from wind, fire and flooding. The main source of risk for the Pittsburgh area is flood, which accounts for 100 percent of all the properties currently at risk.
First Street projects that in 30 years, the main source of risk will continue to be flood, which will account for 100 percent of all the properties at risk.
- Properties at risk now: 41,476 or 7% of total properties.
- Thirty year projection: 42,404 or 7% of total properties.
- Properties at risk now: 19,900 or 11% of total properties.
- Thirty year projection: 20,138 or 11% of total properties.
- Properties at risk now: 13,532 or 12% of total properties.
- Thirty year projection: 13,746 or 12% of total properties.
By 2053, the county with the largest increase in risk will be Lawrence County:
- Properties at risk now: 4,109 or 7% of total properties.
- Thirty year projection: 4,319 or 8% of total properties.
- Percent change in properties at risk over 30 years: 5%
for more features.