Climate change: extreme wheather conditions mean new risks for businesses

In recent years our country was first hit by extreme rainfall, followed by extreme draught. The consequences of climate change form a new risk for Belgian businesses. Vanbreda Risk & Benefits now offers a structural solution: insurance against weather effects.

Climate change: extreme wheather conditions mean new risks for businesses

As a result of climate change, Europe will unavoidably see drier summers and other extreme weather phenomena, such as flooding or extreme rainfall, more and more often.

Belgium is already seeing the consequences. In the first half of 2016 our country saw the highest level of rainfall ever, i.e. 648.2 mm or 60% more than the normal average. And when the excessive rainfall stopped, a new exceptional period commenced. All the months following the summer of 2016 have been drier than normal, with the exception of November. April was extremely dry and was followed by more dry weather in May and June, making the situation acute.

Farmers not the only ones to suffer

The effects of climate change form a new risk for many sectors. Farmers will be the first to be hit. Farmers strongly depend on the weather for their harvest, and therefore their income. The exceptional weather conditions combined with strong changes in temperature are resulting in several major problems: the exhausting of water reserves, failed harvests, inability to plant and so on.

However, many other sectors are also experiencing the negative consequences of the changing weather conditions:

• Beverage industry: loss of income due to lower demand as a result of cold and/or rainy summer.
• Construction industry: loss of income resulting from cold periods lasting longer than expected (concrete cannot be poured below 5°C) or a loss of activity due to long periods of rainfall.
• Transport sector: additional aviation costs due to harsh winters (de-icing of airplanes, flight cancellations and so on).
• Gas and electricity sector: loss of income as a result of a mild winter.
• Renewable energy sector: achieving a lower yield with renewable energy as a result of a bad summer.
• Distribution sector: disappointing sales of seasonal clothing as a result of adverse weather conditions.
• Tourist and leisure industry: loss of income in theme parks as a result of a rainy and/or cold summer.

An insurance against weather effects provides the solution

Vanbreda Risk & Benefits now offers a solution for the negative consequences suffered by the various sectors as a result of extreme weather conditions: insurance against weather effects. Companies can take out weather insurance to cover any negative financial consequences (income loss and/or additional costs) as a result of unpredictable weather conditions.

The policyholder and the insurance company determine an insured period, a weather parameter (e.g. the number of days with a maximum temperature or minimal rainfall, wind speed, sunlight and so on) and the payment in advance. The insurance company pays out the agreed sum as soon as the chosen parameter is reached.

Vanbreda Risk & Benefits risk consultants will gladly assist you in ensuring that climate change does not negatively impact your operating income. As well as offering tailor-made policies, we also provide advice together with a specialised insurer on the preventative measures you can take to protect your organisation against extreme weather phenomena.

For further information, please contact your account manager, send an e-mail to buscom@vanbreda.be or call us on 03 217 67 67.

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