Businesses must go public with the reporting of the risk resilience structures they have in place in order to encourage growth.
That is the opinion of Dominic Casserley, CEO of Willis, speaking at the UN Financial & Private Sector Disaster Resilience Global Summit.
“There needs to be a major change in what businesses tell their stakeholders about the performance of companies,” he said. “Businesses need to be publicly speaking about the disaster resilience that they have in place.
“When businesses feel protected, they invest, and that’s when they create more jobs and growth occurs. Stronger companies equal stronger communities.”
Casserley spoke of the increase in annual costs of disasters, saying that it has increased substantially over the last 30 years.
“Out of the 25 most costly insured disasters on record, two thirds of them have occurred since 2007,” he said.
The increase in population and wealth is largely the reason for this rise, says Casserley, who estimates than in recent years the amount of people living in cities will rise from one billion to six billion.
“We have to improve our understanding of climate change and prepare for more violent weathers. The increase in population and rise of wealth, coupled with the increase in climate change means that the economic losses are out of control,” he said.
“The industry has the knowledge and power to help the rest of the economy to better face these risks and we must do something about it.
“If we work together, we can reduce the financial impact of disasters significantly and help to save millions of lives.”
Lady Lynn de Rothschild, CEO, EL Rothschild and board member, Economist Group, agreed.
“The insurance industry has the potential to reduce risk,” she said. “As an industry, you control $25 trillion in assets.”
She also spoke of the urgent need for a broader range of metrics for effectively measuring the damage, which she says is necessary in order to manage it.
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UN, Dominic Casserley, WIllis, Europe