Climate changes could effect existing communities
The South African Market Watch published views on this issue.
One of the greatest threats to global communities today is that of climate change.
This was the view of several heads of South African insurance companies, published in Alexander Forbes' The South African Market Watch.
According to Ian Kirk of Santam, the global insurance industry is well placed to face the challenges by using its "collective expertise to assist in mitigating climate change if all role players in the industry worked together."
This was also echoed by Hollard's Nic Kohler, who said that these changes called for the industry to act as a collective, by investing in skills development, financial education and risk management.
"The insurance industry's potential to grow our economy is as vast as insurers are involved in every sector of our economy - none excluded," he said.
South Africans have been relatively sheltered from huge natural catastrophes, on the scale seen in places like Chile, New Zealand and Japan.
However, according to the CEO of Chartis, Reinhard Franke, "these events should remind South African companies that their foreign assets can still suffer catastrophic exposures from natural disaster or climate change."
Chris Brits, speaking for Alexander Forbes, said that the industry needs to identify and measure potential environmental and catastrophic exposures in a bid to sustain business in the future."
"The scale of the effects of global warming and natural disasters and the uncertainty surrounding many of these events will demand that organisations plan for such eventualities in the future," said Brits.
The publication also outlined the problem that some South African insurers fail to see the importance of having a good policy in place to help protect against climate changes, believing that these types of problems don't affect South Africa directly.
However, "getting a good EWRM process in place offers a significant competitive advantage," said Brits.