More than two years after Hurricane Katrina, the cost of insulating your home against hurricanes and floods continues to skyrocket.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the average cost of hurricane-related damage in the United States last year was $8,500 per home.
That’s an increase of more than 200 percent from a year ago, and the cost per home for damaged homes in the same year rose by nearly $6,000.
“A hurricane is one thing, but the cost is quite a bit more,” said Michael V. Hirsch, chief executive of the American Home Products Association, which represents the home insulation industry.
“We’re not talking about one hurricane or two hurricanes, we’re talking about a lot of hurricanes.
We’re talking an event of this magnitude.”
The Journal noted that the number of home insulators installed by insurers increased from 3.7 million in 2011 to 5.6 million in 2012.
Home insulators are often used as a temporary barrier between the inside of a home and storm surge.
They also are essential for homes in flood zones, where water levels are lower.
The Journal reported that insurers and state officials estimate that nearly half of the homes they insure are in flood-prone areas, and more than 60 percent of the insurers’ flood insurance policies cover storm-related costs.
Insurers say the costs of insuring against a hurricane will only increase over time.
“Insurance companies have made tremendous efforts to ensure that they have the best available technology to insulate against all threats, including the risk of a hurricane,” said Tom Coughlin, a spokesman for the National Association of Home Builders.
“It is incumbent upon them to continue that effort to insure against future storms and hurricanes, and to be more transparent about the costs and benefits of insulation.”
The cost of storm-insulation is an increasingly urgent concern for homeowners and business owners in the aftermath of a storm.
The National Association for Business Economics estimates that a loss of up to $20,000 in home value could be lost if a storm hits, and estimates that homeowners could see a loss in their home value of $60,000 or more.
The National Association also says the cost to insurers of storm protection has soared in recent years.
The group says that the cost rose from $10.4 billion in 2010 to $19.1 billion in 2013.
Insurance industry leaders, however, have said that insurance costs will continue to fall as insurers and other insurers lower their risk of losses due to a lack of storm damage.
“Insurance is an important part of our business, and we do not see any reason why we cannot continue to maintain our ability to insure the most vulnerable individuals and businesses,” said Andrew Hiltzik, chief financial officer of AON, a leading home insulation company.
“The storm damage associated with this event will ultimately be mitigated.”
Hiltzik said the company is working with local and federal government agencies to provide financial assistance to those who need it most.
The American Home Plumbing Association said that the industry is working on a plan to help provide financial aid to the homeowners affected by the storm.