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Need ideas to show hard dollar business value of climate risk management efforts? CFO Dive just published an article with some practical suggestions for how CFOs can work with their climate and risk management teams to save on commercial property insurance costs which “surged, increasing 15% last year in the biggest jump in more than three decades.”

“The turbulence from global warming puts pressure on CFOs and chief risk officers to precisely gauge company vulnerabilities and minimize insurance costs, according to experts in risk management. Solutions range from closer partnerships with insurers and hardening buildings against damage to use of new insurance structures and advanced data analytics… As insurance costs rise, CFOs and financial executives who gauge risk and handle insurance will likely gain greater C-suite clout…”

Five ways that CFOs, CSOs and risk managers can work together to reduce property premiums:

1. Run a clean-sheet review of risk tolerance. “Financial executives will likely need to more frequently change insurance packages and more precisely gauge company needs, using data that models weather as well as labor, construction and other costs.”

2. Tighten partnerships with insurers.  “Increase the frequency and depth of contacts with carriers as the market for commercial property insurance adjusts to the barrage in extreme weather… detail, with supporting data, the ways that [you] are reducing risk and limiting losses.”

3. Redouble efforts to avert loss. Don’t ignore “the surefire tactic of reducing insurance costs by installing improvements such as storm shutters, flood barriers and fire-suppression systems.”

4. Consider insurance innovations. “Alternatives to traditional commercial property insurance can fill in for policies scaled back or withdrawn because of the frequency in severe weather…”

5. Dive into data analytics. “Today, insurers can use advanced analytics to more precisely measure wind, wildfire and other risks, identifying vulnerabilities and finding new opportunities… when drawing up an application for insurance, CFOs should consider using customized risk management systems ‘to tell a narrative that prevents getting baked into the general market trend.’”

Each company will differ in how the functions work together, but two member resources that may be helpful are the Guidebook on E&S Risk Reduction Concepts and Valuations and our Checklist Identifying & Updating Climate Risks and Uncertainties.

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The Editor

Lawrence Heim has been practicing in the field of ESG management for almost 40 years. He began his career as a legal assistant in the Environmental Practice of Vinson & Elkins working for a partner who is nationally recognized and an adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of Texas Law School. He moved into technical environmental consulting with ENSR Consulting & Engineering at the height of environmental regulatory development, working across a range of disciplines. He was one… View Profile