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How climate change is impacting hurricane risk

How climate change is impacting hurricane risk

Climate-related risks are among the top threats facing P&C and the world at large, and insurers have a critical role to play in mitigating them.

As the insurance industry continues to wrestle with record-breaking catastrophe loss years and worsening risk conditions, a new report examines how climate change may affect hurricane risk in the U.S. through 2050.

Produced by AIR Worldwide in collaboration with experts from the Brookings Institution and AXIS Capital Holdings Limited, “Quantifying the Impact from Climate Change on U.S. Hurricane Risk“ explores how climate change may influence risks specifically related to financial losses to residential and commercial properties.

While climate change is likely to affect hurricanes in multiple ways, the report highlights two important aspects, says Albert Benchimol, president & CEO at AXIS. These components increase the frequency of the strongest storms and additional storm surge flooding due to sea-level rise.

In looking at some of the most at-risk areas — New York, Houston, and Miami, specifically — researchers sought to quantify future hurricane-generated storm surge losses for these areas, determined by rising sea levels.

The report’s findings support what many are already expecting, that increased event frequency combined with rising sea-levels will clearly and directly worsen future damage. Based on AIR’s hurricane model for the U.S., researchers found that the growth in the number of stronger storms, and landfalling storms overall, increased modeled losses by approximately 20%.

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