This year the northern hemisphere has been in the grip of a heatwave with large parts of North America, Europe and the UK seeing record temperatures. Tourists have been evacuated from popular holiday resorts in the southern Algarve threatened by wildfires, even as smoke from the wildfires scorching California has travelled 3,000 miles all the way to New York City. At the same time, vast moorland fires at Saddleworth and Winter Hill in north-west England have shown just how serious a problem wildfires can be in the UK. Lloyd’s exists to pay claims and a lot of the insurance provided by the market is for natural disaster risks, like hurricanes and wildfires. Sadly, 2017 was another particularly active year with hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, along with wildfires in California, an earthquake in Mexico, monso on flooding in Bangladesh and a mudslide in Colombia. Last year, Lloyd’s paid £4.5bn for “major claims” (out of a total of £18.3bn claims paid). It is too soon for insurers to accurately assess the exposure to this summer’s record temperatures. Insurance losses will take some time to materialise. However, research by Lloyd’s reveals that the world’s cities stand to lose $1.8bn of GDP every year as a result of heatwave-related issues.
Telegraph 18th Aug 2018 read more »