May 25, 2021
We live in a world where the one constant is that things are continuously changing. It is human nature to push the boundaries in all aspects of existence and with that comes risk. Climate risk impacts a large number of lines of business that we write at AXA XL. Given AXA's purpose: Acting for human progress by protecting what matters; we want to showcase the multifaceted work being done at AXA XL by diving into the climate risk equation, looking at market resilience through innovation and the role that insurance has to play now and in the future, to assess climate risk and address the associated challenges and opportunities.
A continuously changing world creates new risks, and AXA XL has been working hard to quantify these emerging risks, and to provide robust and innovative solutions. We consider climate risk to be a function of the hazard, exposure and vulnerability, and touch upon each of these elements within the different sections of this report. We also delve into some of the potential impacts of climate change on climate risk, and how AXA XL is provisioning resources to evaluate the range of possible scenarios. Research is a key part of the work we carry out to drive innovation, and we are actively working on several projects which challenge our thinking around the perils to which we are exposed. Innovation does not always have to be in relation to a product, and we highlight here some of the creative thinking around the hazard part of the risk equation. Exposure and vulnerability changes are paramount to understanding climate risk, both now and in the short-term future, and we showcase examples of the work being done in this area as we aim to improve the data we collect from clients in order to understand the exposure and vulnerability part of the risks we write in more detail.
For the world to thrive amidst continuous change, we must enable resilience and adaptation. Insurance is a key part of the resilience framework and we highlight this through a recent study completed with the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies on the topic of Disaster Recovery and the important role that insurance plays in recovery post a catastrophic event. Public Sector Partnerships and parametric insurance solutions are becoming increasingly common options for transferring risk to the private sector, and within this report we detail the initiatives being led by AXA XL to expand our capabilities in these spaces. From involvement in the Arctic and Seaview Surveys to exploratory work in the deep ocean, AXA XL has always shown a profound interest in the natural environment. We have been a leading partner on the Coastal Risk Index which is a project that further exemplifies our commitment to nature. Alongside this work we continue to investigate the importance of natural assets like mangroves, seagrasses and coral reefs in protecting and providing resilience to coastal communities, whilst also being large sequesters of carbon.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an integral part of the way we transact business at AXA XL, with Climate and Water being key pillars of our CSR strategy. Here we highlight some of the core CSR initiatives at AXA XL and, more importantly, how they link back to the business. We achieve this through the evolution of community-based initiatives aimed at creating resilience whilst also acting as an incubator for insurance related products.
Under our new purpose, it is crucial that we adequately manage our exposure to climate risk if we are to provide the protection necessary to advance human progress. The work detailed in this report shows how seriously we take this purpose as we strive to understand climate risk more clearly, whilst also developing innovative ways to transfer this risk and ensuring the resilience of the communities that we protect.
We hope you will find this report an interesting introduction to the diversity of works being carried out at AXA XL to improve our understanding and put us at the leading edge of climate risk.
AXA XL contacts are included in each of the sections should you wish to learn more.
About the authors
Jonathan Gale is AXA XL's Chief Underwriting Officer, Reinsurance. In this role he is responsible for delivering underwriting excellence, underwriting portfolio management, customer relationship management, developing new business opportunities and further demonstrating AXA XL's thought leadership capabilities. He is particularly interested in Climate Risk; the role re/insurance plays in disaster recovery (speed and quality of recovery); the growing gap between economic loss and insured loss; and the complementary potential of private re/insurance and governments. Jonathan is based in the UK and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrew MacFarlane has a BSc. Hons Actuarial Science & Statistics and FIA. He is Head of Pricing & Analytics for London & Bermuda for Reinsurance at AXA XL and a Partner on AXA XL’s Leadership Council. In his Head of Pricing & Analytics role he manages the actuarial team across London and Bermuda supporting underwriters across a broad range of business lines and products. Andrew was involved in setting AXA XL’s CSR strategy and is a member of the AXA XL CSR Steering Group. Andrew plays an instrumental role in looking to expand AXA XL’s involvement in closing the protection gap and leads the Public Sector Partnership practice group at AXA XL. The aim of the group is to strengthen partnerships with the public sector in order to bring socially impactful insurance solutions to the market. Andy is based in Bermuda and can be contacted at email@example.com.