Insurers brace for more natural disasters
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - October 1, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - People are aware that climate change will continue to stimulate more natural disasters, and that they want their respective government’s to do something about it.

The results of a survey conducted Swiss Reinsurance Group (Swiss Re), one of the world’s leading provider of reinsurance, insurance and insurance-related risk transfer services, indicates that 84 percent believe that climate change will be responsible for more natural disasters within the next 20 years.

Eighty percent expressed personal fear that damage from an earthquake, flood or other natural disaster within the next 20 years.

But majority were willing to pick their pockets to protect their future through personal insurance.

“But many also say that government policy does not fully address the risks faced today and by future generations,” Swiss Re said in a report regarding the survey.

Swiss Re Group chief risk officer David Cole said that the findings are a call for better cooperation between government and the private sector.

“It is vital to prepare systematically for the future and make societies more resilient,” Cole added.

Ninety one percent of those surveyed want governments to do more to promote energy efficiency, and 75 percent would use renewable energy, if they were made available.

Seventy percent of the respondents are prepared to take responsibility for their own retirement costs.

Swiss Re said that the survey shows that self-reliance is now part of the coping perception of the public with regards risks of the future.

“More would prefer to pay into a non-state pension plan to make ends meet during retirement (29 percent), retire later (19 percent) or cut back on spending once retired (22 percent) than rely on the state (13 percent),” it said.

Seventy-seven percent fear being hit by a natural disaster in the next two decades, and many believe that the state would leave them with the bill for any damages.

Ninety-one percent want to see governments doing more to ensure efficient energy use.

Three quarter of those surveyed said that they would use renewable energy, but nearly half say they can’t afford to pay more.

A staggering 90 percent think that many around the world do not have access to enough food and 80 percent think that more food needs to be produced to feed everybody.

But 81 percent say that the main cause of food shortages is food waste.

Cole meanwhile observed that both the old and young surveyed had common perception of risks and how society can cope.

“This alliance between the generations is exactly what we need to create the inclusive, resilient communities of tomorrow,” the Swiss Re chief risk officer added.

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