Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada has suffered widespread and severe impacts as a result of wildfire activity. Media reports indicate that over 80,000 people have been evacuated. No serious injuries or deaths have been reported, however, the fire has destroyed homes in several neighborhoods. Our first thoughts and concerns are with those directly affected by this event.
Posts Tagged ‘nat cat’
Fiscal constraints are increasing across many developed and emerging economies amid growing catastrophic loss potential brought on by the geopolitical climate, demographic trends and global climate change. As a result, heads of government, international trade organizations and private sector risk bearers are increasing their calls to reexamine the roles and responsibilities of society to better manage these complicated risks.
In southeast Texas, a significant flood event has affected the Greater Houston Metro area as well as areas north and west. Heavy and persistent rainfall has produced catastrophic flooding, enabled by a slow-moving upper low and frontal boundary, together with available moisture. Record daily rainfall amounts were observed at Houston International Airport, with amounts of 15 to 18 inches reported north and west of the Houston area. National Weather Service flood and flash flood watches and warnings remain active for areas of the Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley and some additional rainfall is expected with thunderstorms. Media reports indicate at least seven fatalities and first responders expect this number to rise. Reports indicate that over 1,000 homes have been inundated. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster in nine counties, enabling state resources to be used to respond to the emergency, according to media reports. It will take some time to fully assess the scope and severity of impacts of this event and our thoughts are with those lost and directly affected by this event.
A Mw 7.8 earthquake struck the Esmeralda Province near the west coast of northern Ecuador on April 16, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The quake occurred at 6:58 PM local time (23:58 UTC) about 17 miles (27 km) south-southeast of Muisne and about 106 miles (170 km) west-northwest of Quito, the capital of Ecuador.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the primary underwriter of flood insurance policies in the United States. The program was established in 1968 through the passage of the National Flood Insurance Act.
For people living at high risk of flooding, finding affordable home insurance is becoming increasingly difficult and the problem is likely to get worse without action. The Association of British Insurers and the UK government formulated a plan following large scale flood events that highlighted the impact of severe flooding on homeowners and communities. The UK government’s preferred approach was the introduction of legislation that would create a flood reinsurance scheme - known as Flood Re - to help support households at highest flood risk with minimal market distortion. The households will be able to access affordable cover through the competitive home insurance market with a managed transition to more risk-reflective pricing over a 25 year period. The scheme provides support in the parts of the home insurance market that need it, which is likely to be around 2 percent of customers living in areas with the greatest risk of flooding. The Flood Re model depends on a statutory levy paid for by the UK insurance industry.
Flood is the largest contributor to catastrophic loss worldwide. Recent initiatives from Guy Carpenter and Marsh & McLennan Companies, both involving the peril of flood, demonstrate the diversity of approaches that can be brought to bear. In the United Kingdom, we are involved in a project where the insurance industry is working in concert with the government to adjust the industry’s approach to the peril of flood and maintain the private sector’s role as the source of insurance protection without a resultant increase in the public sector’s liability. In the United States, a project is being sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the US Congress to determine how the National Flood Insurance Program might be privatized and how it might utilize reinsurance to support its risk management efforts, and thereby move potential loss exposure off the public balance sheet.
The 2015 Global Insurance Forum addressed the topic “Filling the Protection Gap” (1). During the conference, key speakers noted the growing divide between the economic losses societies are facing and the role of the insurance industry. Many (re)insurance leaders believe the industry can play a significant role in a rapidly changing global risk landscape with pre-loss financing solutions designed to spread risk, relieve the burden on public finances and improve the resiliency of communities.
Identifying, prioritizing, selecting, executing and monitoring results of risk management projects are essential. As noted by the US Government Accountability Office in their post Hurricane Sandy review, an investment strategy would help the Federal Government enhance resilience for future disasters. Unless a clear risk-return framework is established, the opportunity to reduce publically held exposure will be challenging and the inertia around the status quo could endure until loss events occur that force reactionary funding from the public sector (1).