2022 has brought the climate crisis back to Europeans like no other year.
It may be a ‘spyglass’ in the new normal, according to researchers behind a new study showing that the fire season has reached a record “burnt area” in parts of southwestern Europe.
The continent has also suffered probably the worst drought in 500 years this summer, followed in places by dangerous flash floods.
And more and more data is pouring in on the deadly toll of these extreme weather conditions. The French authorities, for example, have just estimated that the year’s heat waves caused an excess of 2,816 deaths.
In addition to the danger to life, people are increasingly worried about their homes.
Given the potential impact on the Insurance Industry, the British comparator ComparetheMarket has compiled a list of the 10 European countries where homes are most vulnerable.
Which European countries are most at risk from climate damage to homes?
Spain tops the list of the most climate-vulnerable countries, losing a vast 4,185 acres (1,694 hectares) of land to Forest fires per year, according to analysts’ calculations.
They looked at a number of factors to give each country a climate score, and Spain was also pushed to the top of the list by its air pollution levels.
But it is Portugal that suffers the most Forest fires, with an average of 6,039 acres (2,444 hectares) of land burned per year. Inevitably, some homes are in high-risk areas.
Serbia is the European country most exposed to floods caused by heavy rains with an average of 1.4 floods caused by downpours per year. This makes it the number one country for flood-related home damage.
Overall, Bosnia and Herzegovina ranked second on ComparetheMarket’s list, due to both a high number of fires and floods.
And the UK came third, overtaken by its poor air quality and high pollution levels.
The most vulnerable English towns
The UK price comparison site has also taken a closer look at English cities, to see where people most need to insure their buildings and contents.
It revealed that Kingston upon Hull was in the most precarious position, with 90% of residents at risk from flooding from the River Hull or Humber Estuary.
Leeds came second, with the highest average precipitation levels per year at 88mm, followed by Plymouth, Manchester and Preston.
London, Nottingham and Derby are most at risk from river flooding, while Southend-on-Sea has the most to fear from surface water flooding.
How to protect your house from flooding?
ComparetheMarket advises homeowners in flood-prone areas to replace wooden floors with more resistant alternatives such as ceramic tiles. It’s also a good idea to reposition electrical outlets and appliances away from the floor.
The price comparison website states that reflective shutters or blinds are a good way to combat the sun’s heat at high temperatures, reducing the risk of sun damage and fires.
Securing fences, gates and posts is important in strong winds.
Naturally, the company also has a few words of warning when it comes to insurers.
He advises people in high-risk areas to ‘ensure their home insurance covers flood damage to both the building and its contents, as this level of coverage varies from provider to provider’ .
Does home insurance cover climate change?
Comparethemarket’s home insurance team says: “There is still a common misconception that insurers include a force majeure clause in their policies to avoid paying claims.
While it was once common practice, times have changed and providers tend to be much clearer about what is and isn’t included in your policy, he says.
“If a natural disaster, such as a fire, flood or a storm damages your home, you may find that your home insurance covers you. That said, your policy will likely have exclusions and won’t cover you for all unforeseen circumstances. »
But, as always, be sure to read the fine print carefully and carefully check the sections relating to natural disasters.
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