Insurance & Climate change

10 May 2015 | Desmond Astley-Cooper

Insurance & Climate change My  day  was  brightened  this  morning  by  noticing  a  colourful  advertisement  in  my  newspaper  of choice for the new Coral Reefs – Secret Cities of the Seas exhibition which is being staged by the Natural  History  Museum. 

It  was  not  so  much  the  witty  depiction  of  the  reef  denizens  as stay  at home  dad  (seahorse)  or security  guard  (trigger  fish)  that  caught  my  eye  but  the  fact  that  the sponsor was Catlin, a medium-sized reinsurer specializing in property & casualty lines.

Further proof, if any was needed, of the insurance industry’s growing engagement with the issue of climate change and  its  effects. 

Furthermore,  not  only  has  the  chairman  of  Lloyd’s  of  London  said  publicly  that climate change is their (Lloyd’s) number one issue but Europe’s largest insurer, Allianz, has fleshed his hypothesis out by saying that losses from extreme events in an average year will increase by 37% within  a  decade. 

This  has  now  moved  from  the  realms  of  scientific  and  political  debate  into  the world  of  balance  sheets  and  profit  and  loss. 

The  costs  of  climate  change will  increasingly  be measured not only in terms of government expenditure on renewable energy and carbon mitigation but also in business and household insurance premiums.

Whether or not you believe in the science or think that it is someone else’s responsibility to address the issue, the costs will catch up with all ofus in the end.

Desmond Astley-Cooper

Director

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