Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.
For years, North Carolina has bet against a storm like Hurricane Florence.
Even as nationally known insurance companies pulled out of the state’s coastal communities, development boomed along the shore, despite the threat from a megastorm like Harvey or Maria.
In the face of warnings that climate change was making such storms more common, the state-created “insurer of last resort” has written policies for thousands of coastal properties worth tens of billions of dollars.
With Hurricane Florence headed straight for North Carolina, the state faces not only a natural disaster but a financial reckoning.
According to the most recent totals available, from 2017, the state-created insurance plan had access to about $3 billion in reserves, reinsurance, and contributions from insurance companies to repair and rebuild damaged homes and properties.…