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Adaptation to climate change in the insurance sector: examples from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands

Abstract

Adaptation to climate change, particularly flood risks, may come to pose large challenges in the future and will require cooperation among a range of stakeholders. However, there presently exists little research especially on the integration of the private sector in adaptation. In particular, recently developed state programs for adaptation have so far been focused on the public sector. Insurance providers may have much to contribute as they offer other parts of society services to appropriately identify, assess and reduce the financial impacts of climate change-induced risks. This study aims to explore how the institutional distribution of responsibility for flood risk is being renegotiated within the UK, Germany and Netherlands. Examining how the insurance industry and the public sector can coordinate their actions to promote climate change adaptation, the study discusses how layered natural hazard insurance systems may result from attempts to deal with increasing risks due to increasing incidences of extreme events and climate change. It illustrates that concerns over the risks from extreme natural events have prompted re-assessments of the current systems, with insurance requiring long-term legislative frameworks that defines the objectives and responsibilities of insurers and the different political authorities.

Suggested Citation

Keskitalo, E.C.H., Vulturius, G., Scholten, P., 2013. Adaptation to climate change in the insurance sector: examples from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. Natural Hazards 1–20.

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