A preliminary assessment of the impact of climate change on non-life insurance demand in the BRICS economies


Abstract

Over the past decade, the increase in insurance demand in the BRICS has been a key driver of global non-life premium growth. Current forecasts suggest that these markets will continue to be areas of significant expansion. For example, based on a simple model, we project that gross premium volumes in the BRICS economies could increase at a rate of between 5.4 and 12.3% per year over the coming decade, depending on the country. We consider how climate change may influence these trends in the period to 2030. We argue that the influence of climate change will be more multifaceted, complex and regionally variable than portrayed in the past. We suggest five pathways of influence: wealth; willingness to pay for insurance; policy and regulation; changes to the supply of insurance; and new opportunities associated with adaptation and mitigation. We conclude that, with the exception of policy and regulation, the influence of climate change on insurance demand to 2030 is likely to be small when compared with the expected growth due to rising incomes, but is not insignificant. For example, we expect the impact on premium volumes mediated through wealth to be small; less than a 0.4% adjustment in the annual growth rate to 2030. But, we also conclude that the scale of the risks and opportunities will depend partly on (re)insurer responses to the challenges of climate change. We outline five actions that could pave the way for future opportunities.

Reference

Ranger, N., and Surminski, S. March 2013. A preliminary assessment of the impact of climate change on non-life insurance demand in the BRICS economies. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, v.3, pp.14-30.