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        • Waterfront challengesWaterfront Development Added Billions to Property Values Exposed to Hurricane Florence

          By Rebecca Fowler

          Rapid development in flood-prone zones during recent decades helped boost the amount of property exposed to 2018’s devastating Hurricane Florence substantially, a new study says. It estimates that the value of property in North Carolina and South Carolina potentially exposed to flooding at $52 billion—$42 billion more than at the start of the century (in 2018 dollars). While much development took place between 1950 and 2000, financial risk rose quickly afterward because much of it clustered along coastlines and adjacent to rivers and lakes, where buildings were more vulnerable to flooding.

        • Pandemic bondsPandemic Bonds: The Financial Cure We Need for COVID-19?

          By Dror Etzion, Bernard Forgues, and Emmanuel Kypraios

          Like other financial players that have embraced innovation in recent years, insurers too have developed novel tools and products. One such innovation is catastrophe bonds. A catastrophe bond provides the issuer (usually either an insurer or a reinsurer) with financial protection in case of a major catastrophe. Most catastrophe bonds cover extreme natural events such as hurricanes or earthquakes, but some bonds cover pandemics like the one the world is facing now.

        • PerspectiveTime for Regulators to Take Cyber Insurance Seriously

          In April 1997, Steven Haase and some of his colleagues in the insurance industry hosted a “Breach on the Beach” party at the International Risk Insurance Management Society’s annual convention in Honolulu to launch the first ever cyber-insurance policy. Josephine Wolff writes that it would be years, still, before cyber insurance would generate sufficiently significant sales numbers to attract the interest of most major insurers and their customers. More than two decades later, cyber insurance has expanded into a multibillion-dollar global business, with 528 U.S. insurance firms reporting that they offered cyber-specific policies in 2018.

        • Climate & businessExtreme Weather Events Could Bring Next Recession

          Physical climate risk from extreme weather events remains unaccounted for in financial markets. Without better knowledge of the risk, the average energy investor can only hope that the next extreme event won’t trigger a sudden correction, according to new research. Experts say that the market needs to plan for weather risk, or face extreme correction.

        • Climate costs2019: Economic Losses from Natural Disasters Top $232 billion in 2019

          A new report from Aon shows that 409 natural catastrophe events of 2019 resulted in economic losses of $232 billion. Of that total, private sector and government-sponsored insurance programs covered $71 billion. The costliest individual peril was inland flooding, which caused economic losses globally of $82 billion, followed by tropical cyclone, at $68 billion.

        • FloodsComparing Floodplain Protection Today to Predicted Future Flood Losses

          A new study seeks to answer an important question related to flooding in the United States – pay now to protect undeveloped areas that are likely to flood in the future or allow developments to go ahead and pay for damage when it occurs.

        • Climate & businessThe Challenges Facing Fisheries Climate Risk Insurance

          The world’s first “Fisheries Index Insurance” scheme, launched by an international consortium in July, is a sovereign-level instrument designed to protect Caribbean fishing communities from extreme weather events which may become more frequent and intense due to climate change. But insurance schemes with the potential to improve the resilience of global fisheries face a host of future challenges, researchers say.

        • PerspectiveChanging Weather Could Put Insurance Firms Out of Business

          The fiercer storms which a changing climate produces could soon come to British shores, paralyzing trade for days. This is an example of the costs that fossil-fuel emissions may bring, The Economist writes. Insurance companies are uniquely exposed to these sorts of changes. Already, insurers are seeing disasters of unprecedented scale. Very costly disasters are becoming more frequent, while catastrophes are getting harder to predict. “Above all,” says The Economist, “insurers need to take the lead in publicizing the growing risks posed by climate change, and the need for cover.”

        • Climate threatsEnvironmental “secondary perils” an increasing threat: Swiss Re

          The catastrophe loss experience of the last two years is a wake-up call for the insurance industry, highlighting a trend of growing devastation wreaked by so-called ‘secondary perils’ – which are independent small to mid-sized events, or secondary effects of a primary disaster.

        • FloodsClimate-smart national flood insurance program

          By Dena Adler

          Last month the Midwest faced historic floods that devastated rural communities, drowned farms, contaminated water supplies, and resulted in billions of dollars in damages. As climate change exacerbates the risk of these catastrophic flooding events, Congress can help citizens take these actions to adapt to the risks of climate change by adopting a package of climate-smart reforms for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

        • Natural disasters2018 fourth costliest year in insured losses

          2018 was the fourth-costliest year since 1980 in terms of insured losses. This was due to an accumulation of severe and costly events in the second half of the year. A comparison with the last 30 years shows that 2018 was above the inflation-adjusted overall loss average of $140bn. The figure for insured losses – $80bn – was significantly higher than the 30-year average of $41bn. 2018 therefore ranks among the ten costliest disaster years in terms of overall losses, and was the fourth-costliest year since 1980 for the insurance industry.

        • Climate threatsInsurance industry dangerously unprepared for extreme weather

          As historic flooding caused by climate change devastates coastal communities, new research reveals that the insurance industry hasn’t considered a changing climate in their practices, putting homeowners at financial risk.

        • Terrorism insuranceInsurer hails U.K. government action to close the terrorism insurance gap

          Pool Re the other day welcomed the U.K. government’s commitment to amend the 1993 Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act to enable the reinsurer to extend its cover to include non-damage business interruption losses resulting from acts of terrorism. The reinsurer is currently restricted by the 1993 Act only to pay out if physical damage has occurred to commercial property. This means that businesses, inside a police cordon, that suffer financial loss through being unable to access their property or to trade, are only covered if there has been physical damage during a terrorist attack.

        • Climate-change costs2017 climate, weather disasters in U.S. totaling $306 billion — a new record

          2017 will be remembered as a year of extremes for the United States as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, drought, fires, and freezes claimed hundreds of lives and visited economic hardship upon the nation. The average U.S. temperature in 2017 was 54.6 degrees F (2.6 degrees F above average), making 2017 third warmest year in 123 years of record-keeping. The five warmest years on record for the United States all have occurred since 2006. In 2017, the United States experienced 16 weather and climate disasters each with losses exceeding $1 billion, totaling approximately $306 billion — a new U.S. record. Far more tragic was the human toll. At least 362 people died and many more were injured during the course of these disasters.

        • Natural disasterHurricanes make 2017 year of highest insured losses ever

          The hurricane trio of Harvey, Irma, and Maria will cost the insurance industry a record amount in 2017: the final insurance bill for those and other natural catastrophes, including a severe earthquake in Mexico, is expected to come to $135 billion – higher than ever before. And overall losses – that is, including uninsured losses – amounted to $330 billion, the second-highest figure ever recorded for natural disasters. The only costlier year so far was 2011, when the Tohoku earthquake in Japan contributed to overall losses of $354 billion in today’s dollars.

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