Insurance News: Impact of Climate Risk AssessmentsInsurance News: Impact of Climate Risk Assessments

Climate change is no longer an impending disaster but a reality with universal impacts. The first state is a booming insurance industry that has transvaginally been at the vanguard of risk management but now finds itself on the front lines of facing large-scale shifts in climate patterns. Climate risk assessments are fast becoming a critical tool, influencing everything from underwriting to product development. Climate risk assessments may drastically undervalue the impact of certain types of events on a wider scale in the insurance industry, as outlined in this article.

On the Importance of Climate Risk Assessments

⦁ Precise Underwriting: The chance of climate change represents a big risk to assets and life. The rise of natural disasters like hurricanes, the melting ice on poles leading to rising sea levels, and extreme weather conditions produce a high risk for insurance companies. By informing insurers of the risk elevations, climate risk assessments enable them to price policies accurately and avoid any potential low-bailout-prone scenarios, which can also reduce possible financial instability.
⦁ The geographic distribution of their insured assets can be assessed using climate risk assessments to determine how their portfolio may need to be managed. With this, they are able to find regions that have a high level of risk and hence benefit from re-balancing their holdings in the different portfolios. With more vulnerable and sensitive climate regions, diversification becomes increasingly important to mitigate total risk.
⦁ Develop new insurance products based on climate risk assessments made by GReAT. For instance, insurers could support governments by offering flood insurance for areas facing sea level rise or parametric insurance against droughts on crops that need rice paddies.

Stakeholders affected by the changes:

⦁ Policyholders: Climate risk assessments can result in higher insurance premiums, especially in locations with a high probability of continued climate vulnerability. But it can also serve to incentivize the insured—or potentially discourage him/her in case of future accidents involving insurability, as with flood defenses or retrofitting in households.
⦁ Governments: Climate risk assessments provide sets of data that support governments in framing policies and regulations for climate adaptation and remediation. It is this dual perspective from insurers and governments that will help ensure a holistic approach to climate risk management.
⦁ Reinsurance Companies: Reinsurers, who provide an important backstop for primary insurers, need to know what their climate risks are. Through an enhanced appreciation of the changing risk scenario, reinsurers are also better able to fine-tune their capacity and pricing models to sustain what has been a relatively stable market.

Recent News and Developments:

⦁ One insurer consortium debuts a climate risk modeling tool (confirmation needed). (via AISNet) An insurance trade group has created a new model to show insurers the potential impact of global warming on various natural catastrophes.
⦁ Several countries (need source) are already designing new guidelines calling for taking climate risk assessments into account in their underwriting practices.
⦁ It was great to read the details of a collaboration between an insurance company and a climate science research institute seeking to establish the first comprehensive climate risk assessment framework for insurers.

The Road Ahead:

For the insurance industry to steer through this changing climate landscape, it can no longer afford to not have its full range of risks quantified and understood. Climate models are increasing in fineness, along with more sophisticated data collection, leading to even better risk analyses that will enable insurers:

⦁ Creating cutting-edge solutions for risk management
⦁ Engage communities as partners in developing resilience.
⦁ Support climate change abatement efforts.


Climate risk assessments are transformative for insurance. What they are doing is moving towards a new way of thinking about risk and taking risks. Climate risk assessment helps not only the insurers but also makes sure that the industry remains within long-term frameworks with a more resilient future, which in turn protects policyholders as well.