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Climate: insurers called upon to better cover environmental disasters

Only a quarter of climate-related disaster claims in the EU are currently insured and this deficit is expected to increase in the future.





By LL with AFP

The European Central Bank on Monday called for closing the loss coverage gap resulting from climate-related disasters in the EU.
© DANIEL ROLAND / AFP

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Ihe European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Insurers Authority (EIOPA) called on Monday to reduce the loss coverage gap resulting from climate-related disasters in the EU, which is likely to increase further in the future.

Only a quarter of claims due to climate-related disasters in the EU, storms, floods, forest fires, are currently insured and this deficit is expected to widen as the impact of climate change increases, explain the two institutions in a joint working document.

In the EU, many residents underestimate the costs of climate-related damage or prefer to rely on support from governments, according to the ECB and EIOPA.

“We need to increase the use of weather catastrophe insurance to limit the growing impact of natural disasters on the economy and the financial system,” ECB Vice-President Luis de Guindos said in a statement. communicated.

“We must respond to the growing deficit of insurance protection by proposing and finding appropriate solutions”, insisted the President of the European Insurers’ Authority, Petra Hielkema.

Propose attractive offers to households

Placed on the front line, insurers should offer attractive offers to households and businesses, including, for example, discounts if policyholders take measures to reduce their exposure to climate risk, believe the two institutions in their working document.

It would then be a question of extending the issues of “catbonds” (catastrophe bonds), which allow insurers to transfer to the market the risk linked to certain natural events.

In the same vein, governments could set up “public-private partnerships”, like those existing in France, Spain and the United Kingdom.

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In these partnerships, insurers and reinsurers take on some of the risk alongside the government, while policyholders can be encouraged to adapt to risk, thereby reducing moral hazard.

Finally, insurance schemes at national level could be complemented by an EU-wide public scheme. It would ensure that sufficient funds reach countries for reconstruction after a major climate-related disaster.

The floods in the summer of 2021 in Europe caused damages totaling 46 billion euros in costs, of which only 11 billion euros were insured. Germany has committed in response up to 30 billion euros to finance reconstruction efforts.


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