Russell Higginbotham, The Chief Executive Officer for Swiss Re’s reinsurance operations in Asia, has highlighted the region’s susceptibility to natural catastrophes as an issue that demands increased resiliency measures from re/insurance players and governmental bodies alike.
Asia accounted for 41% of the $222 billion global natural catastrophe protection gap in 2018, Higginbotham points out. In emerging Asia, the gap is almost 358% of the region’s property premiums.
While there remains work to be done on closing this gap, he adds that efforts must be made to create more resilient societies, where better planning and building standards help to mitigate risk as much as possible.
“This is also where strong and planned disaster recovery systems are in place to reduce losses and get lives and businesses back to normal as soon as possible,” Higginbotham explains.
Technology will also play a vital role, the CEO says, and already enables regionalised models that help assess risk precisely and in real time. Furthermore, satellite imagery and cutting-edge algorithms make flood modelling a precise science.
Higginbotham concludes by emphasising the need for collaboration between insurers, their reinsurance partners, and the public sector, to make Asia, and the world more broadly, a more resilient place to live, grow and thrive.
“There is a real opportunity here to nurture accessible and dependable insurance through cooperation and partnerships, in a time when natural disasters are increasingly impinging upon our present and future.”