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Highlights

Weather-related events in the United States have caused tens of billions of dollars in damages annually over the past decade. A major portion of these losses is borne by private insurers and by two federal insurance programs-- the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which insures properties against flooding, and the Department of Agriculture's Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), which insures crops against drought or other weather disasters. In this testimony, GAO (1) describes how climate change may affect future weather-related losses, (2) provides information on past insured weather-related losses, and (3) determines what major private insurers and federal insurers are doing to prepare for potential increases in such losses. This testimony is based on a report entitled Climate Change: Financial Risks to Federal and Private Insurers in Coming Decades are Potentially Significant (GAO-07-285) being released today.

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