Building a more resilient future

One of the central themes of this year’s Singapore International Reinsurance Conference is the sector’s response to climate change, an issue that will be discussed in this morning’s plenary session.

Conversations around climate change have evolved significantly within the industry over the past few years, with rising awareness of the role the sector can play as an enabler of the energy transition.

Helping build societal resilience to natural disasters is another critical component of the industry’s role in addressing climate impacts. As The Insurer highlighted in our analysis in yesterday’s edition, the disparity between insured and uninsured losses in the Asia Pacific region represents one of the largest protection gaps in the world.

Collaboration is critical to addressing these challenges, and several initiatives are taking place across the region to help make lives and livelihoods more resilient against disaster shocks.

These take several forms, from regional pooling facilities to microinsurance offerings aiming to bring financial protection to underserved communities.

Building risk understanding is also critical, as reflected by initiatives such as the Global Risk Modelling Alliance – which can play a vital role in enabling countries to quantify the risks they face. This understanding is critical: it is only through closing the data and information gap that the protection gap can be addressed.

Over the past decade recognition among governments and non-governmental organisations over the role insurance can play as an adaptation tool has grown exponentially. There are also an increasing number of industry representatives engaged within this field.

But while several initiatives have succeeded in getting off the ground, achieving meaningful scale remains a huge challenge.

The insurance sector has a huge role to play in shaping the climate and disaster risk financing agenda, but more in the industry need to engage with the challenge.

It is also important to increase public awareness. Risk education will be a critical component of the development of more resilient communities better positioned to withstand the systemic shocks of the future.