Munich Re Among Insurers Set for Climate Risk, Ceres Says

Munich Re and Ace Ltd. are among insurers that are best prepared to manage risks related to climate change, a lobbying group said.

The nine insurers that were found to be integrating climate change into underwriting and investments also included Swiss Re Ltd. and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Ceres said today in a report. The findings are based on responses that 330 insurers gave in surveys by regulators in U.S. states, Boston-based Ceres said.

Global costs from natural catastrophes were $125 billion in 2013, including $31 billion in insured losses, a number that is expected to increase, according to the report. Ceres said larger insurers have stronger risk management.

“There is no doubt that an early effort to adjust policies, premiums and insurance investments will result in less-dramatic impacts later on, thus avoiding and reducing losses that we can already anticipate,” Mike Kreidler, the insurance commissioner for Washington state, said in the report.

Eight companies receiving top marks in the survey are property-casualty insurers, Ceres said. Prudential Financial Inc., the second-largest U.S. life insurer, also made the list.

Almost 200 of the respondents have “minimal” risk management in place, Ceres said. The group recommends that insurers incorporate climate-change predictions into catastrophe models and evaluate how investments could be affected by warmer temperatures.

Ceres is a nonprofit organization that advocates for sustainability. It directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk, a group of more than 100 institutional investors with collective assets of $13 trillion, according to the statement.

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