Insurance summit on climate change

By Herminia S. Jacinto

THE Insurance Institute for Asia and the Pacific and Insurance Philippines held their 2nd Virtual Summit on June 22 and 23, 2022 with the theme "Climate Change — The Role of the Insurance Industry and the Public Sector." Climate change may seem to be a jaded topic in various forums, especially those conducted by the insurance industry. On the contrary, the topic is always relevant as it affects our daily existence. Typhoons, floods, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are events that happen or may happen whether we like it or not.

Invited to this summit were speakers representing global organizations and projects like the World Bank, the Earth Security Group and Project Oasis. Updates on local initiatives, both the public and private sector, were presented by speakers from the Climate Change Commission, the Department of Energy and Arise Philippines.

I would have wanted to share with the readers some of the interesting and informative papers presented but since we have limited space, I will just highlight some of the valuable takeaways from their papers.

Almost all speakers talked about the research and data analytics of the various events or disasters that were caused by climate change. Very useful information that will help people, governments and the private enterprises cope with these disasters, and look for the necessary protective mechanisms for themselves affected to recover from their losses. These organizations offer their assistance in research, loss analysis and estimation, development of insurance products and risk financing.

An interesting topic to me (a longtime insurance person) was the topic "Insurance Underwriting with Nature" presented by Mr. Alejandro Litovsky, the founder and CEO of Earth Security. Their studies show that there are local protective measures that can be done to provide protection for disasters like typhoons and floods. That in the Philippines, mangroves are 50 times more cost-effective than building a concrete sea wall over a 15-year investment! The Philippines has many strategic places with mangroves and coral reefs that can prevent or reduce flooding. The experts advise that there should be programs that will protect and strengthen the ecological systems of the country. It may be worthwhile for all the insurance underwriters to visit the website of Earth Security and read their paper on Underwriti