Insurance giant cites climate in rising North American disaster costs

It adds that climate change is contributing to the trend. From Munich Re:

Climate change particularly affects formation of heat-waves, droughts, intense precipitation events, and in the long run most probably also tropical cyclone intensity. The view that weather extremes are becoming more frequent and intense in various regions due to global warming is in keeping with current scientific findings, as set out in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as well as in the special report on weather extremes and disasters (SREX). Up to now, however, the increasing losses caused by weather related natural catastrophes have been primarily driven by socio-economic factors, such as population growth, urban sprawl and increasing wealth.

Peter Höppe, head of the company’s Geo Risks Research unit, said in a statement that the findings are the “initial climate-change footprint in our U.S. loss data from the last four decades,” and added that previously the evidence was not as strong.

Another Munich Re official called it vital for the industry to consider climate-related risks going forward, noting that currently climate change-related increases in hazards “are not automatically reflected in the premiums.”

“In order to realize a sustainable model of insurance, it is crucially important for us as risk managers to learn about this risk of change and find improved solutions for adaptation, but also mitigation,” said Peter Röder, a board member, in a statement.