Impact of climate change on insurance – what brokers need to know

Impact of climate change on insurance – what brokers need to know | Insurance Business Canada

Impact of climate change on insurance – what brokers need to know
Climate change is a huge, at times overwhelming, topic. But that’s exactly why brokers need to stay on top of it, and better understand its effects and impacts – in order to better help customers.

It is a truly global problem and, locally, Canada has felt the damage it can cause in recent years, with increases in severity and frequency of wildfires, hail storms, and flooding.

So what can brokers do to better understand climate change? They can stay abreast of the latest education.

Next week, Insurance Business is hosting an e-learning webinar on “The Impact of Climate Change in Insurance”, hosted by industry professional Karen Ritchie, vice president at Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers.

“It is such a big issue, and it’s global, and it all goes into political stability and economic growth,” Ritchie said, ahead of the webinar.
“It’s all tied in. We tend to think of it from a smaller geographical perspective … but it’s a global issue. It’s all-encompassing.”
There remains a knowledge-gap among insureds, about what coverage they have, and what they need, and what’s available, she said.

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“People know that climate change is happening, but they don’t necessarily know what their exposure is,” she explained. “They’ve found, when they have these major storms, 94% of the people don’t even know if they’re in a flood plain. How can you be prepared for something when you don’t even know you’re at risk? That’s a big part of the education process.

“A lot of people know the world is getting warmer, but they don’t really understand the implication of it. Once you understand those, you can start to figure out what to do.”

For brokers there is work to do too, Ritchie said.

“The education process has to continue,” she noted. “You have to point out, look at where we were and look at where we’re going to be.

“We have to start thinking differently. We didn’t have these exposures before. What are the gaps that are in our current insurance policies, and are there ways in which we can cover that off? Part of our job is to tell clients, ‘You can’t buy insurance for everything, but I need to tell you what you’re not covered for’.”

The webinar, on Wednesday, October 25, will examine the global problems inherent in climate change, and how they impact the local market. In addition, the webinar will cover:

• How do you educate the client about climate change, risk mitigation strategies pre and post loss?

• Understanding the coverage: personal and commercial

• Overcoming objections to purchasing catastrophe coverage in the face of rising prices and deductibles

• Preparing for catastrophe: communicating to your client, who should be lined-up and on your speed dial

• What are the impacts and financial implications of major disasters on the insurance industry?

The webinar is also CE credit certified.

Related stories:
Environment commissioner: Federal government is not ready to deal with climate change’s effects
Climate change and insurance – communicating with your clients