Climate change emphasizes the importance of insurance


Dr. E. Baturalp Pamukçu, General Manager of Türk Nippon Sigorta, gave a statement about natural disasters and climate change which closely interest the insurance market. He evaluated the examples from Swiss Re’s latest Sigma report on the disasters of 2017, Pamukçu said: “According to the report, 301 different disasters occurred across the world during 2017. 183 of them were classified as natural disasters, while 118 of them were man-made. Total disaster loss of 2017 accounted for 44 percent of the global income. Although 2018 results of global economic disaster losses have not been announced yet, the amount stood at 337 billion USD for 2017. It is nearly double the amount reported in 2016 (180 billion USD), indicating that existing risks are increasing with each passing day.”


Underlining that risks such as  flood, storm, hail, tornado, drought and yield loss which have occurred due to climate change increased drastically in recent years, especially in 2017; Pamukçu added: “Those risks are observed to increase both in our country and others; earthquakes still being considered as the most important risk factors. One of the largest natural disasters that occurred in 2017 was the Mexican earthquake, which could be counted as one of the biggest earthquakes of recent years.  Following the earthquake that occurred in 7 September 2017 with a magnitude of 8.1, another was recorded on 19 September 2017 with a magnitude of 7.1; increasing the total economic loss to 12 billion USD. Despite the magnitude of this disaster and resulting economic loss, only 1.6 billion USD could be covered by insurance companies. This has been a very good socioeconomic example for all of us to consider.”


‘Impacts of climate change will increase’


Pamukçu says that earthquake accounts for the largest risk group for Turkey, covering 98 percent of the country, and adds that second major risk group was flood: “Overflows and floods arising from infrastructural deficiencies due to intense housing on stream beds, pose great danger for this risk group. As to the coming years; it is not very hard to foresee that climate change and global warming will necessarily affect our country as well. Especially as the weather risks increase depending on the climate changes and weather events, losses in these risk groups will be larger accordingly. Although we do not feel the impacts of climate change as intensely as other countries, it has begun to manifest itself with the hail events of 2017.”



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