North America has been particularly hard hit by weather catastrophes in recent years: Hurricane Katrina, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, searing heat and drought. The intensities of certain weather events in North America are among the highest in the world, and the risks associated with them are changing faster than anywhere else. These developments form the backdrop to our new publication Severe weather in North America: Perils · Risks · Insurance. Changing weather risks not only affect society in general but also have a huge impact on the insurance industry, which needs to find adequate responses in the form of innovative insurance solutions.
In order to support this process, various experts from different units at Munich Re and a number of renowned guest authors shed light on the basic concepts and physical principles behind natural hazard phenomena, explain their occurrences and impacts, and analyze resulting loss events. They describe the underlying factors of changing risk, including climate variability and climate change. Munich Re’s geoscientists are at the forefront of the latest research and work in close contact and cooperation with scientists from all relevant fields. Severe weather in North America also gives advice on risk reduction and on how to prepare for and deal with extreme events. Implications are drawn for the North American insurance markets based on the findings presented.
I hope this publication will be of great benefit to our clients in their weather-related business operations and at the same time help the people of North America to prepare for the changing weather risks that lie ahead.