Natural Hazards

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 135–163

Climate Change, Extreme Events and the Canadian Insurance Industry

Authors

  • Rodney White
    • Institute for Environmental StudiesUniversity of Toronto
  • David Etkin
    • Environmental Adaptation Research Group, Environment CanadaUniversity of Toronto
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007934511961

Cite this article as:
White, R. & Etkin, D. Natural Hazards (1997) 16: 135. doi:10.1023/A:1007934511961

Abstract

At the same time that a scientific consensus has arisen that the world will most likely experience a changing climate in the near future, with more frequent extreme events of some weather hazards, the insurance industry, worldwide, has been hit with rapidly escalating costs from weather-related disasters. This conjunction of scientific belief and economic impact has raised the questions as to (1) whether more frequent extreme events have contributed to the rising insurance costs and (2) how will future climate change affect the industry?

Based upon historical data, it is difficult to support the hypothesis that the recent run of disasters both world-wide and in Canada are caused by climate change; more likely other factors such as increased wealth, urbanization, and population migration to vulnerable areas are of significance.

It seems likely, though, that in the future some extreme events such as convective storms (causing heavy downpours, hail and tornadoes), drought and heat waves will result in increased costs to the industry, should the climate change as anticipated.

climate changeextreme eventsinsurance

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997