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The World Bank has helped two more countries join those benefiting from a source of catastrophe contingent disaster risk financing, as both Vanuatu and Grenada become the latest to receive a Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat DDO) arrangement.

The World Bank continues to deliver these catastrophe contingent risk financing solutions to countries exposed to peak perils as a way to introduce them to contingent disaster risk finance and insurance or reinsurance related arrangements.

The Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat DDO) is now one of the staple sources of capacity for countries interested in disaster risk financing, thanks to the help of the World Bank.

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Innovative insurance and reinsurance mechanisms such as catastrophe bonds, risk pooling facilities and parametric triggers are all key ways that risk mitigation can be improved in the world’s most vulnerable areas, Aon said today.

The insurance and reinsurance broker highlighted the continuing issue of the protection gap and the need for society to build greater resilience against catastrophes.

Just in the last decade, natural catastrophes have driven global economic losses amounting to US $2.98 trillion, Aon’s data shows.

PGGM grows ILS portfolio 16% to ~$6.5bn in 2019, adds new reinsurance partners

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PGGM, the Dutch pension fund investment manager and the largest single source of assets in the insurance-linked securities (ILS) market, has grown the size of its ILS portfolio by roughly 16% in 2019, to reach around US $6.5 billion of assets and also added two new reinsurance partners during the year.

PGGM has continued to broaden the breadth of strategies that it allocates to in the ILS and reinsurance sector in recent years, becoming an increasingly important source of assets for the market as a whole.

The pension fund investment manager, that looks after allocations to the ILS and reinsurance market on behalf of one of the pensions it administers, the Dutch healthcare and social welfare sector’s PFZW pension, entered 2019 with around EUR 5 billion of assets under management, but lifted that figure throughout the last year to EUR 5.8 billion (around US $6.5 billion at the end of 2019).

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City of 15 million is on a fault line rocked by a series of temblors

Istanbul, Turkey’s biggest city with 15 million people, should prepare for an earthquake of magnitude 7.5.

That was the chilling prediction of Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu after the temblor measuring 6.7 that killed dozens of people Jan. 24 in Elazig province, 750 miles from the nation’s economic heartland. A quake as strong as 7.5 could level buildings and cause tens of thousands of deaths.

The Elazig convulsion, and a much smaller tremor this week, add urgency to warnings by officials and scientists of a calamity. Istanbul sits at the western extremity of the Northern Anatolian Fault Zone, which divides Turkey horizontally and has been hammered by seismic activity since the 1939 Erzincan quake, magnitude 7.2. Five major tremors since then have each been further to the west. The epicenter of the destructive Marmara temblor in 1999 — magnitude 7.6 — was just 70 miles from Istanbul.

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The human cost of disasters is not just measured in the deaths and injuries that they cause, but also in terms of their lasting economic impact on survivors and countries. Natural disasters don’t just destroy homes, factories, shops, and fields; they can altogether annihilate years of economic growth, which is essential for developing economies.

That is why disaster risk financing, especially when it comes to post-event response, plays a vital role in developing economies across the globe. Financing that strengthens the management of risks associated with exposed assets, lessening the vulnerability of people and property, improves the management of land, water, and the environment.

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Establishing a national disaster insurance scheme is one of the main features of the UNDP’s NAP for Bosnia & Herzegovina. Improving BiH’s preparedness for dealing with Nat Cat events is instrumental considering the expected increase in flood losses and the very low current insurance coverage.

Over the past eighteen years the country has had 7 years of drought and 5 years of flooding, specifically in 2014 when major flooding caused damages equivalent to 15% of the country’s GDP for that year, an article prepared by the UNDP reads. Moreover, according to the European Environment Agency, annual flood losses in BiH are expected to increase five-fold by 2050 and up to 17-fold by 2080.

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Caribbean earthquake could prompt CCRIF coverage assessment

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A powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck the Caribbean yesterday in the afternoon local time, swaying buildings as far away as Miami, Florida and causing some localised damage to countries including the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Cuba.

There have been no immediate reports of casualties and damage in the region appears relatively light.

However, the quake could result in an assessment of the parametric catastrophe insurance policies provided by the CCRIF SPC (formerly known as the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) and perhaps its reinsurance coverage, as its modelled loss trigger calculation process may be required to run, given the severity of the earthquake event.

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Nascent form of risk finance can help plug insurance protection gap in emerging markets

The WEF’s Global Risks Report released this month is a sobering read but, for many, an unsurprising one. For the first time in its 10-year history, all five of the top risks were related to some form of environmental threat, from property-damaging extreme weather to the prospect that efforts by businesses and governments to mitigate climate change will fail.

According to the report, most companies still seem “ill-equipped” to address climate risk. “Many do not yet quantify physical climate risks in their direct operations and supply chains, and those that do are likely to be underestimating them significantly,” the report notes, leaving them exposed to significant losses in the increasingly likely event of extreme weather or natural disasters.

This “protection gap” is even more stark in emerging markets, where the impact of natural disasters can be particularly devastating. While about 50 per cent of disaster losses are covered by insurance in high-income countries, the corresponding proportion in poorer countries is less than 5 per cent….

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As institutional investors look to asset classes that promote sustainable and responsible investing, increasingly, they are drawn to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) qualities of insurance-linked securities (ILS), according to Greg Wojciechowski, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Bermuda Stock Exchange (BSX).

Speaking during a panel discussion held in Bermuda last year and hosted by Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA), Wojciechowski, alongside PwC’s Arthur Wightman, Ariane West of Nephila Climate and moderator Brad Adderley of Appleby, discussed the connection between ILS and ESG considerations.

ILS and catastrophe bonds have been identified as sustainable development investments. Specifically, it’s been identified by some experienced ILS investors that the asset class meets the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal #13, which relates to taking action on climate change.

China most likely coronavirus source for World Bank’s pandemic cat bond

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The worsening outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China has brought the World Bank’s pandemic catastrophe bond transaction back into focus and it turns out that China was seen as the most probable source of a coronavirus outbreak that could trigger the IBRD CAR 111-112 notes.

The coronavirus outbreak that began in the city of Wuhan in Hubei province China has been spreading rapidly, with confirmed cases of infection now reported to have reached more than 4,515 in China as of January 27th (based on Chinese government figures) and a number of countries abroad where cases have been found.

The death toll from the China coronavirus outbreak, which began in late December it is believed, is now seen to have reached 106, all of which have been recorded in China.