The Effects of Climate Change on The Insurance Industry
In recent years, climate change has become more evident and serious due to disasters and rising temperatures. The outcome is becoming devastating, with natural disasters continuously destroying and ruining lives.
Businesses have felt the tremors through their company and its process. Many industries have been greatly affected by the climate change. Each industry has been affected differently, for instance, property loss, supply chain interruption, energy limitation, rising costs, etc.
Insurance is one of the industries shocked by global warming and environmental issues. The two topics are more linked to each other than many would believe. Climate change has created surprising threats and opportunities for the insurance industry.
Hence, the article will discuss the effects of climate change on the insurance industry and why every business must have the right policy to avoid climate change business risks.
What is Climate Change?
Climate change is a topic everyone should understand as it affects every single one of us on planet Earth.
The United Nations describes Climate change as the “long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns“. The change began to occur in the 1800s due to humans, and the effects have become noticeably serious in the past 50 years.
Factories burning fossil fuels, increasing cars, cutting down forests and farming livestock are the leading causes of climate change. They produce harmful gases (greenhouse gases), damaging the planet’s ozone layer.
Due to climate change, natural disasters have increased worldwide, destroying homes, properties, assets, businesses and financial situations.
The Effects of Climate Change on Insurance
As mentioned, climate change has played an immense role in increased natural disasters. Consequently, natural disasters destroy homes, shops, buildings and any property. Natural disasters can include typhoons, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and wildfires.
The frequent destruction results in policyholders calling their insurance company for a payout. Insurances like home, property all-risk and even asset insurance cover property from natural disasters. Therefore, insurance companies are liable to pay the policyholder for costly repair or replacement at market or replacement value.
In 2022, there were 388 natural disasters worldwide. The insurance industry payout has increased significantly due to many natural disaster claims. The industry is a lifesaver to policyholders, but constant payouts can financially affect the insurance industry. The payout escalation can make the process more complex and increase pressure on insurance companies.
Increase In Premium
Many policyholders complain about their premiums increasing over the years. The only way to deal with the payout increase is to increase premiums. The premiums help insurance companies pay an appropriate payout on the specific policy.
The premium reflects the risks associated with what is covered. If risks are higher, the premiums will naturally be higher. In addition, the premiums could be different in every country and location,
For example, home or shop insurance in Hong Kong will have a higher premium than in Singapore. The lower premium is supported by the lower risks of natural disasters, less crime and the city’s history. The insurance industry is constantly under financial pressure, and policyholders should understand the increase is to provide the best coverage.
Change In Policy Coverage
When one purchases any insurance, one must read everything. Many people ignore the pages that explain in detail the cover and exclusion. The cover and exclusion section is vital to understanding the insurance – even when it’s a renewal. The portion could inform you of any changes or if all natural disasters are still covered.
Climate change has made insurers reconsider their policy and coverage. Many insurance policies have changed due to climate change and the number of natural disasters yearly. For example, home insurance policies in many countries have removed damage or loss due to flood cover.
The change occurs in many policies and may keep happening. The insurance industry may be unable to provide extensive coverage all in one policy for an appropriate premium. The alteration of policies may occur globally or locally, depending on the rise of risks and climate change.
Opportunity for New Policies
Climate change creates various risks for different industries and individuals. Companies and individuals that could be affected by these risks are always looking for insurance policies that can help them financially.
The demand for unique natural disaster insurance is an opportunity for the insurance industry. For instance, as stated, home insurance does not cover any flood damage or loss, but homeowners can purchase flood insurance.
In addition, insurers can also promote environmental insuranceto companies that have a high chance of creating pollution. Therefore, climate change can also be a chance to introduce companies and individuals to new policies and extensions to their existing insurance portfolio.
The opportunity is not a chance for the industry to make money but to spread awareness and protect against more natural disaster risks. Over time, there might be more insurance that explicitly covers environmental risks and the costly outcomes.
Why Insurance Is Ideal Protection from Climate Change Outcomes?
Unfortunately, climate change is predicted to worsen and may lead to more disastrous incidents. These events can’t be avoided and will result in a large amount of financial loss. Hence, having the proper protection to recover is vital.
Businesses and individuals must invest in the proper insurance solutions to cover climate change risks. The right insurance will provide adequate financial protection to recover and focus on the future.
Not all businesses may need the same policy and may have different environmental threats. Therefore, each business should analyse its risks and consider possible outcomes if a natural disaster hits.
Every business must also make sure they are an eco-friendly business helping to improve the environment and slow down climate change.