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[greenyes] Insurance Cos & Climate Change

Weather worries

Changes in climate pose greatest challenge for insurers, say experts from
around world
By Dean Calbreath
April 23, 2004

Associated Press
Floodwaters surged through Prague in the Czech Republic two years ago,
showing the impact of global climate changes, insurers warn.

Forget workers' compensation. Forget Southern California's wildfires. And,
with a slight caveat, forget about another terrorist attack like Sept. 11.
Ask Peter Levene, chairman of Lloyd's of London, about the greatest
challenges facing the insurance industry, and what's the first thing that
rolls off his tongue? Climate change, more commonly known as global warming.
"Terrorism is a risk that is being taken care of in large part by
governments right now, as it should be," Levene said this week in San Diego,
where he was attending the annual conference of the Risk Insurance and
Management Society.
"But the real issue for insurers is natural disasters, which are a very
great concern. And the impact of those disasters has been increasing because
the climate has been changing, which presents some very serious challenges
for insurers."

Lord Levene is no radical environmentalist. He's a button-down businessman
who spends most of his time campaigning for tort reform and other corporate
causes. But he's echoing a growing concern that insurers - and their
corporate clients - face increasing losses caused by a rapidly changing
global climate.
"In the wake of global warming, it is getting more and more difficult to
forecast climate change, and many businesses, small and big, are affected,"
Japanese insurer Sumitomo Mitsui warned recently. "Losses from major events
such as irregular weather patterns can be so large that the insurance
industry has not been willing to fully cover the risks."
its worst floods in a century, as river waters rose in Germany, Italy,
Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. The floods caused about $15 billion
in damage, including $3.2 billion in losses for insurers.
"People thought that was a once-in-a-century event, but then in less than a
year they were hit by more floods," Levene said.

Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
Ph: (608) 231-1100
Fax: (608) 233-0011
Cell (608) 438-9062
email: anderson@no.address

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