Are People Moving to the Charlottesville Area Due to Climate Change?

I’d argue that the answer to the question – “Are people moving to Charlottesville due to climate change?” is — I think it’s a factor that more and more of my buyer clients are articulating as a contributing factor when considering where to move.  Have a look at the Census data; what do you think?

From floods to droughts to fires to earthquakes, and fires, the Central Virginia region is more protected than many other areas of the United States, and arguably the world.

Recently someone asked on Charlottesville reddit about natural disasters in the Charlottesville area. My answer:

  • We have occasional forest fires (see: Skyline Drive a few years ago)

  • Derecho (~10 years ago)

  • Earthquakes rarely – see: 2010

  • Droughts – 2007 & 2023

  • Tornados – I think one in Greene a few years ago

  • Flooding (Camille many years ago, and more recently, we seem to have some sort of flooding/flash flooding every few years)

  • Snow. Occasionally we get a snow event. But not really. (Search for snowmageddon or snowpocalpse + Charlottesville in your favorite search engine)

Overall, we are more climate protected than many places in the country ….

(side note: and people are recognizing this, and choosing to consider moving here. Charlottesville + Albemarle + surrounding localities need to see this as an opportunity and begin building sufficient and resilient infrastructure suited for the current and future. related: The world’s infrastructure was built for a climate that no longer exists.

“Climate change” may not be the reason, but I’d speculate “homeowners insurance is unaffordable or unavailable due to climate change” might be a reason as well.

Home insurers cut natural disasters from policies as climate risks grow

In the aftermath of extreme weather events, major insurers are increasingly no longer offering coverage that homeowners in areas vulnerable to those disasters need most.

At least five large U.S. property insurers — including Allstate, American Family, Nationwide, Erie Insurance Group and Berkshire Hathaway — have told regulators that extreme weather patterns caused by climate change have led them to stop writing coverages in some regions, exclude protections from various weather events and raise monthly premiums and deductibles.

Insurance providers are also more willing to drop existing policies in some locales as they become more vulnerable to natural disasters. Most home insurance coverages are annual terms, so providers are not bound to them for more than one year.

That means individuals and families in places once considered safe from natural catastrophes could lose crucial insurance protections while their natural disaster exposure expands or intensifies as global temperatures rise.

Major insurers say they will cut out damage caused by hurricanes, wind and hail from policies underwriting property along coastlines and in wildfire country, according to a voluntary survey conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a group of state officials who regulate rates and policy forms.


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