Impact Forecasting, the modelling arm of global broker Aon, has called for the insurance industry to continue to create awareness as natural disaster costs continue to spiral.
Steve Bowen, director (meteorologist) at Impact Forecasting told Insurance Business
that the industry needs to increase awareness of the benefits of insurance, particularly around natural catastrophes.
“The biggest thing is to continue to create awareness of the potential risks associated with catastrophic events,” Bowen said.
“Population trends in APAC and around the world continue to show increased urbanisation in cities along major coastlines.
“This has considerably increased the amount of exposure in highly vulnerable locations. It will be important for local governments and the insurance industry to continue working together to better highlight the specific natural hazard risks to improve mitigation efforts.
“This will lead to impacted populations being able to get back on their feet quicker in the aftermath of an event.”
With the East Coast Low that caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage earlier this year
still fresh in the memory of many, Bowen stressed that while losses are high, they still are still lower than historic highs set earlier this decade.
“Economic losses resulting from natural disasters through the month of July in Asia-Pacific are already at US$85 billion for the year,” Bowen said.
“This makes 2016 the highest cost year for the region since 2013. The losses are above the most recent 10-year median (US$71bn), but still below the 10-year mean (US$101bn).
“The historic year in 2011 for the region remains the costliest on record at US$368bn.”
With summer on the horizon, and the threat of La Nina ever present, Bowen warned that weather events will continue to impact the region which could drive costs up even further.
“The weather never stops and earthquake risk is always a real threat in Asia-Pacific,” Bowen said.
“It’s very difficult to pinpoint specific events happening, but the daily reality is that natural catastrophes are going to happen and we all need to be prepared for when the next major event strikes.”
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