--> Gill Blog: Changing European Weather Patterns

Gill Blog

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Changing European Weather Patterns

I have often discussed the importance in taking a complete view on the universe of risk when formulating risk mitigation strategies. Too often - especially in today's charged environment - terrorism becomes the only event that BCP planners will focus on when putting together their plans.

Over the past few weeks we have mentioned a major flood in southern Canada, and a devastating hurricane that hit the west coast of Florida. As I bang out this post, a Typhoon Aere is bearing down on Taiwan. So are these isolated incidents, or does it seem as though the increase in devastating natural events is on the rise?

Last night, I found myself burning a little bit of the midnight oil, and after 1 a.m., tuned into CBC Radio on the web. At this time the CBC broadcasts news from broadcasters around the world, so I happened to be listening to Radio Netherlands, when I came across this item confirming that weather patterns in Europe are indeed changing.
Keimpe Wieringa recalls the 2003 heatwave which caused around 20,000 deaths, and the floods only months before that wrought havoc in Germany and the Czech Republic. He says that "it's now estimated that we have a loss here in Europe of about 11 billion euros on a yearly basis" because of such extreme weather events. In fact, they account for 79 percent of all economic losses caused by catastrophic events since 1980. And these losses have increased significantly in that time, partly because of "our economic welfare – the value of houses - has gone up", but also because the average number of such events has dramatically increased, doubling during the 1990s as compared with the previous ten years.
If this trend is in fact part of a wider global trend, it will inevitably have an effect on insurance underwriting standards and business continuity planning efforts. To find out more about the report, you can click here for ordering information, or you can hear the report in its entirety by clicking this link.


Post a Comment

<< Home