While insurance companies worry about growing disaster impacts
Surviving floods and hurricanes is a matter of building resiliency against the ever-dangerous elements. And mitigation is one of the key building blocks to achieving resiliency in our homes, our schools, and our businesses. Governor DeSantis has created the Florida Office of Environmental Accountability and Transparency, in part, as a comprehensive approach to resiliency in Florida and he’s looking for a Chief Resiliency Officer to head the effort.
Under the Governor’s executive order, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) established the Office to ensure key water quality objectives are clearly communicated to the public, as well as organize agency resources and scientific expertise, data and research to focus on and solve complex water quality challenges. At the top of the list: Florida’s Blue-Green algae problem created by water releases by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from Lake Okeechobee. It’s among a series of initiatives, including a worldwide search for another newly created position of Chief Science Officer. (You can apply here for this $236,000 a year position.)
We should care because whether you believe that global warming exists or is contributing to recent climate changes, there have indeed been incremental increases in sea levels on Florida’s coasts and waterways. Whether these increases are long-term or blips on the chart of Earth’s history, insurance analysts have taken note. They’re worried that climate events will lead to a slump in property values that could lead to broader financial market implications.
A recent report by ClimateWise on behalf of a group of insurance company clients says that the increasing number of catastrophes being linked to climate change could triple property losses over the next 30 years. The report’s conclusions were discussed at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. The report and discussion noted that larger hurricanes and massive wildfires, for example, appear to be happening more frequently.
Last month, Munich Re AG noted that a series of such fires, floods, and violent storms had doubled the usual amount of insurable losses. Munich Re said global climate-related losses may have topped a record $140 billion last year.
The report recommends investors take thorough inventories of housing and business real estate, noting construction materials used and various flood risks to the property. It also recommends climate projections be incorporated into insurance catastrophe models.
LMA Newsletter of 3-11-19