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Global Warming Will Exacerbate Insurance Industry's Woes
Published: 30/01/10

If you had all along been assuming that climate change was about the ozone layer up there, the melting glaciers in the polar regions, and what-have-you somewhere comfortably remote, it’s time you thought again. The Association of British Insurers has recently come out with a study grimly titled "The Financial Risks of Climate Change." It includes several likely consequences, invariably adverse, that climate change is likely to have for both the insurers and the insurance companies worldwide.

The study predicts that if the predictions of global warming turn true, commercial insurance losses from windstorms and floods in the U.K., will register a significant hike. The study further warns that if the global temperatures show a gradual rise, commercial property insurance will become considerably more expensive, as well as difficult to obtain, all across the globe.

Study Predicts Greater Flood and Windstorm Losses

The study estimates that if the global temperature rises by four degrees Celsius, the average annual inland flood insurance losses in the U.K. could surge by 21 percent to £633 million {$1.04 billion}, and the U.K. windstorm insurance losses will manifest a hike of 37 percent, to reach £827 million {$1.36 billion}. The study glumly notes that according to several scientists, the earth may acquire the four degree rise in temperature by 2060. The study expects such a temperature rise to lead to about 48 percent higher flood and wind insurance premiums in China. In such a scenario, the average annual insurance losses caused by more and fiercer typhoons, would grow by 32 percent to touch £345 million {$566.4 million}.

So, who has combined to don the kill-joy role of making this latest prophecy of doom? The pessimistic study had been a joint undertaking by the London-based ABI, AIR Worldwide Corp., and the U.K. weather researcher and forecaster Met Office.

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