Why businesses should think about climate change — and how it can affect their risk 1

Why businesses should think about climate change — and how it can affect their risk

What this means for insurance:

in global insurance
losses from disaster
events in 20171
increase in worldwide
loss-relevant catastrophes in the last 35 years2
catastrophe losses projected each decade
due to building density
and costs3

What to expect by region:4

map of regions

Wildfire season

Wildfire season in the West starts earlier, lasts longer, and burns more acreage.

Heat waves

Heat waves have become more frequent and intense, especially in the West.

winter storms

Winter storms have increased in severity and frequency since the 1950s, and shifted north. Cold waves are less frequent and intense.

warming temperatures

Average temperatures have risen 1.3-1.9ºF since 1985, with the greatest warming in the North and West.


Drought has increased in the West. And in the last 10 years, the Southwest has seen the most persistent droughts on record.


Floods. These are more common in the Midwest and Northeast.


Hurricanes. Frequency has increased in the North Atlantic since the early 1980s.


Precipitation. Heavy downpours have increased over the last 3-5 decades, especially in the Midwest and Northeast.

Sea level flooding

Sea level has risen about 8” along the Mid-Atlantic and Gulf coasts over the last 50 years.
Types of loss and impact to businesses:
types of loss and impact of businesses
Damage to property and lost revenues
Disruption to evacuated injured workers
Litigation against companies seen as causing climate change
More costly auto repairs as new technology evolves
Management team risks for vulnerable businesses
Our solutions:
climate change solutions from insurance companies
Notification systems for imminent threats
Disaster preparedness resources
Development of telemedicine to increase access to care
Networks of specialized legal resources
Improved hazard analyses to capture changing risks
Prompt response following catastrophes
Comprehensive, multi-line coverages for evolving risks
1 https://www.swissre.com/media/news-releases/2018/nr20180410_sigma_global_insured_loses_highest_ever.html
2 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212094715300347
3 https://www.iii.org/article/spotlight-on-catastrophes-insurance-issues
4 https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/downloads/NCA4_Ch01_Overview.pdf