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Addressing climate change, reducing our environmental footprint, securing the future of work and inspiring confidence in a digital society.

Businesses fight climate change risks with new resilience services
Jun 28, 2021

Climate Change Resilience Services from Zurich North America are designed to help customers identify mitigation and adaption actions.

Zurich Insurance Group introduced its Zurich Resilience Solutions in early 2021. This new unit offers risk management services to businesses around the globe, focusing on three distinct risks: climate change resilience, cyber security and supply chain risk management.

Zurich Resilience Solutions provides services that enhance the overall resilience of a customer’s business and complement traditional insurance products. The offering combines risk advisory services and insights with the latest technology and tools, leveraging data and analytics as well as third-party collaborations

Zurich’s Climate Change Resilience Services team works with businesses to help them understand climate change risks by providing insights on current and potential future risks. By identifying mitigation and adaption actions that businesses can implement, the Climate Change Resilience Services team can help businesses protect their physical assets and support their business strategies. It is also a key component of Zurich’s global sustainability initiative.  

Adam Hurley, Head of Property Risk Engineering for Zurich North America, recently discussed how Climate Change Resilience Services can help customers manage their risks.  

Why is climate change one of Zurich Resilience Solutions' three focus areas? 

Adam Hurley: Climate change and associated natural hazards are impacting Zurich’s customers across North America. Increasingly intense hurricane seasons, severe convective storms, longer duration droughts and rising sea levels are all impacting the risks that customers face today and in the future. 

Climate Change Resilience Services help customers understand the impact of these increasing risks and the steps they may need to take now to manage them moving forward. Zurich provides these services with an in-house team of Risk Engineers and leverages both internal and external climate-related data sources. 

What are the opportunities for Climate Change Resilience Services in the current environment, particularly when it comes to COVID-19? 

Adam Hurley: While COVID-19 has been a major disruptor to business, it has not slowed down natural hazards or climate change. In 2020, we experienced one of the most active hurricane and wildfire seasons on record. We saw extended freezes in the Southern United States as well as devastating tornados and flooding. The impact of climate change is here, and Zurich’s Risk Engineers are ready to help customers understand and plan for these risks. 

What is the early feedback since Zurich launched Resilience Solutions in January? 

Adam Hurley: Customers are engaged and appreciate that these services combine climate change data with risk assessment, scenario comparisons and improvement advice. While there are many climate change data suppliers in the market, they typically lack the ability to offer guidance on what to do once they understand the exposures. Guidance can be relatively simple, such as elevating critical equipment above expected flood levels to more complex infrastructure changes. Zurich’s Risk Assessment & Improvement consultative services are a differentiator. 

How is Zurich marketing these services to potential customers? 

Adam Hurley: The target audience for this service would typically be middle market to large customers with multiple locations and exposures. From a marketing perspective, Zurich will first help its existing customers understand the services available to them. Next, they plan to engage distribution teams, distributors and underwriting partners to support introductions to potential customers that are not currently insured by Zurich, where warranted. 

How does Zurich stack up against competitors in the climate change arena? 

Adam Hurley: Zurich is a leader in this regard in the insurance space, leveraging significant experience in evaluating current natural hazard exposures along with the insights obtained from the climate change modeling data into a robust customer offering. Zurich will continue to develop its expertise and service offerings to stay in this position. 

What do you see as Zurich’s biggest challenge? 

Adam Hurley: Many of Zurich’s customers are pursuing climate-related initiatives to be more environmentally friendly organizations. By engaging in discussions with these customers, Zurich is getting customers to spend now to protect against future risks, which will always be a challenge. Positioning this as an opportunity to have a better understanding of the risks is important to drive wins.