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The impact of extreme weather on interconnected risks


Much like the captain of a ship, a captain of industry doesn’t have the luxury of assuming his or her enterprise will prove itself seaworthy in challenging conditions. Last year was the most expensive hurricane season on record, especially in the United States, which was pummeled by three high-impact storms (Harvey, Irma and Maria) in less than a month. The damages ran to a staggering $US 202.6 billion, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was a costly stress test for global businesses, since the impact of each hurricane was felt far beyond its landfall. For example, Harvey shut down the concentrated energy infrastructure that sprawls along the Gulf of Mexico, bottling up at least 13 percent of U.S. refining capacity and raising energy prices in Europe and Asia. In Puerto Rico, Maria disrupted the U.S. biomedical industry, as 8 percent of the medicines Americans take are manufactured on the island, according to the FDA.

The shift toward global supply chains and just-in-time inventory has reduced corporate costs and inefficiency, but it has also reduced the buffer between extreme weather events and corporate boardrooms.

To read the full article from Zurich with commentary from Chief Risk Officer for Commercial Insurance Eugenie Molyneux, click the link below…

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