Bluelining

06/03/21

“How will the impact of increased flood risk on insurance further perpetuate segregation?”

In the middle of the 20th century, the U.S government forbade residents of certain neighborhoods (Specifically ones that Black Folk were forced to live in) to apply for a home mortgage. While this was later declared constitutionally illegal, the confluence of climate change and the private insurance markets may bring it back in an insidious new form. When updated floodmaps predict that new neighborhoods will become unsaveable, they may deny homeowners in those regions from receiving insurance coverage. This will turn the homes in this area into stranded assets that will be extremely difficult to sell and pose extreme financial liability. This new phenomena of Bluelining will only serve as a compounding factor for people living in flood-prone regions, which are already disproportionately made up of lower systemic caste communities. Flood risk prediction and insurance designers will need to take into consideration how their work will possibly harm the same people they should be seeking to serve.

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