Insurers Abandon New England Coast

Hurricane threats are causing insurers to retreat from coastal areas in Massachusetts and around New England, leaving many looking for alternative protection.

"Many insurers have either pulled out or sharply restricted their underwriting in coastal areas, forcing more than 40,000 homeowners to scramble for coverage."

"But some insurers are now retrenching along the entire Massachusetts coast, even in areas that are not considered likely targets for a hurricane's full brunt."

"Conventional wisdom holds that a major hurricane approaching New England would come from the south and slam into the coasts of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and southeastern Massachusetts. The Cape and Islands would be particularly vulnerable."

"A hurricane could steamroll across the Cape toward Boston and the North Shore or head inland, but industry officials say in that case the storm would likely lose much of its power and probably cause less damage."

"Because of the Cape's perceived vulnerability, many insurers have retreated there, and homeowners have been left with no other choice for coverage than the Massachusetts Fair Plan, the state's insurer of last resort. The Fair Plan, which is operated as an independent insurance company but regulated by the state, now insures more than 40 percent of the homes on the Cape."

Full Story: More insurers backing away from coasts

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