Friday, November 24, 2017

Insurers Warn 2017 to Be Most Expensive After Year of Climate Disasters

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A combination of natural disasters and extreme weather events impacting the entire globe is likely to mean 2017 will be the most expensive on record according to 28 insurance industry organizations.

According to ClimateWise, a global network of 28 insurance industry organizations, not only is 2017 likely to be the most expensive year on record due to natural disasters and extreme weather events all over the globe, but over the past decade only 30% of catastrophic losses were insured, leaving a climate risk protection gap of $1.7 trillion.

“Our industry has been shaken by climate perils impacting urban centres and 2017 is on track to become one of the most expensive years on record,” said Maurice Tulloch, Chairman of Global General Insurance at Aviva and Chair of ClimateWise.  “The climate risk protection gap presents insurers with one of our industry’s most profound challenges.  The cost of extending sustainable insurance cover is now simply not affordable in many places.  A proactive response is required.”

Many in America will still recall vivid memories of Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas in August and caused $180 billion in financial losses.  According to ClimateWise, Harvey was just one among many numerous events exposing the growing climate risk protection gap and the urgent need to improve the resilience of cities to better withstand the changing climate and natural disasters.

Further, Hurricane Harvey’s devastation further revealed the lack of insurance coverage for such events, with only one in five residents in Greater Houston having flood insurance — and insured losses amounting to less than $19 billion, or just 10.5% of total losses. 

Unsurprisingly, the dangers and financial concerns are even greater in developing countries, such as recently seen in Bangladesh and India.  The dangers only become more obvious and the need to increase the resilience of cities more urgent when you consider that 50% of the world’s populations now live in cities, and 1.5 million people are migrating to urban areas every week.

“Cities are at the epicenter of the climate risk protection gap crisis, given their concentration of economic activity and vulnerability,” said Tom Herbstein, ClimateWise Director.

Read more at Insurers Warn 2017 to Be Most Expensive After Year of Climate Disasters

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