Rising Waters: The Coming Change of Sea Levels and what that Means for Adjusters

A according to a new 2012-published study, sea levels are rising, and they will undoubtedly begin to wreak havoc on the world’s many low-lying communities without adequate time to prevent the serious damage. Beyond the obvious reasons for homeowner worry, property adjusters may also soon find themselves engulfed — with claims.A recent article in Insurance Journal explains that at least one tenth of the global population resides in areas that would be largely flooded by the changing sea levels, which are occurring because of “rising greenhouse gas emissions”. Additionally, as warmer temperatures penetrate deep into the sea, the water warms and expands as the heat mixes through different ocean regions.

Even if the deepest emission cuts are initiated it would still be several hundred years before water levels stabilized. Chances are strong that, like the ocean, the magnitude of flooding claims adjusters receive is bound to rise.

Water can easily destroy property outright as was evidenced in the 2011 tsunami in Japan. With total home destruction being just one concern for homeowners, there are still several types of water damage that are likely to occur during flooding. Walls, floors, and ceilings can incur water stains after the liquid has receded bringing about further concerns of mold and subsequent decay. Anything water touches also has the possibility of its finish being destroyed. This stands especially true for furniture, textiles, apparel, and appliances, as well as many collectible items (think valuable art).

No one knows exactly how high sea levels will rise (or if and when they’ll begin to go down), but one certainty we can expect is that, in the coming decades, there are going to be many people who look to adjusters for help after flood damage. And they need to be ready.

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