For example, Canada’s weather-related insurance claims hit a record $4.9 billion last year driven by wildfires in Fort McMurray, ice storms in southern Ontario, floods in Atlantic Canada and many other climate-related events. We aim to actively accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy and proactively improve society’s resilience to extreme weather.
Why is it important?
Our actions are guided by major sustainability issues, including:
- Severe weather events: insurers paid out around $50 billion for natural disaster claims last year, double the amount paid out in 2015.
- Global warming: average temperatures are widely predicted to rise above 2°C, the internationally-agreed target for limiting climate change, during the 21st century. At the Paris climate conference (COP21), 195 countries adopted the first ever universal, legally-binding global climate deal.
- Resource scarcity: by 2030, the world will need 50% more energy and 35% more food than it does today.
How do we tackle the issue?
Our approach to climate change is three-fold:
- Reducing our own contribution to climate change and promoting sustainable working practices amongst employees and suppliers in order to achieve our carbon reduction target of cutting emissions by 12% per person from a 2015 baseline by 2018;
- Supporting our customers to respond to changing environmental risks and opportunities by sharing our risk management expertise, thus helping them proactively manage their risks to severe weather events and build resilience; and
- Insuring renewable energy projects across the world, reducing the risks of such ventures and therefore driving down the costs of developing these assets.
Reducing our own emissions
We have a group carbon reduction target to reduce our emissions by 12% per person by 2018 from a 2015 baseline.
To achieve this, our CR representatives in each country collaborate with facility managers, procurement, finance, our product lines and travel to identify and deliver projects that generate environmental improvements.
In our UK offices, we are developing and implementing an Energy Management System in line with the international standard ISO 50001 which will set site-specific energy reduction targets. Across the group, we are encouraging our customers to move to online policies.
Supporting our customers
We have been dealing with severe weather events for more than 300 years and, over this time, have built up a wealth of knowledge about how to reduce the associated risks. In general, we offer a before, during and after claims proposition to our customers:
Before: we advise customers of their risks at the time of policy purchase and provide recommendations for risk management. For example, our Irish brand, 123.ie, provides tips on flood prevention on the 123.ie Home Advice Centre.
During: we support our customers throughout their claim, getting them back on their feet as quickly as possible. We ensure that we are proactive and pragmatic and keep all parties fully informed. We recommend energy efficient replacements of damaged goods or flood resilient materials wherever possible.
After: we continue to make sure that our customers reduce their risks by taking practical action, such as alerting them about severe weather warnings before they hit.
Every RSA business customer can benefit from our risk management services. Working together, we design and deliver risk improvement reports that meet each customer’s specific requirements. We know that getting things done in a busy world needs reliable data with easy, real-time access.
Our web-based application, RSAred, delivers this by allowing customers to manage risk engineering data such as risk improvement tracking, risk profiling and modelling and customer portfolio analysis, all in real-time. RSAred won the Insurance Software Award at the Commercial Insurance Awards 2016 and was shortlisted for Technological Innovation of the Year at the European Risk Management Awards in 2016.
Insuring renewable energy
We continue to be a leading insurer of renewable energy and are evaluating the risks of new technologies and prototypes to expand our expertise in this area. Through our knowledge of these products, we are reducing the risks and costs associated with renewable energy and helping support the transition to a lower carbon future.