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Climate change tops list of risk concerns for insurers, AXA finds

Cyber risk also took the lead in the United States first the first time ever, and was second place in all other geographies

Climate change risks are once again at the top of the global ranking of the list of concerns for insurers, according to AXA. 

The findings were published in AXA’s eighth edition of its Future Risks Report, a global study that measures and ranks the evolution of the perception of emerging risks as seen by a panel of risk management experts as well as by public opinion. 

Awareness of climate change risks was found to be highest in Europe, where experts and the public once again place this risk at the top of the list. It is only in third place in Asia and the Middle East however, and only in fourth place in Africa, where the pandemic remains the main concern. 

AXA also reported a “strong” concern about cyber risk in a context “still marked by the acceleration of the digital transformation and the explosion in the number of cyber-attacks”. This risk took the lead in the United States for the first time ever, and was second place in all other geographies. 

Meanwhile, the pandemic risk, which was ranked first last year, dropped to third place in the experts’ rankings, but remains the highest concern of the general public.

More than 70% of respondents said they are concerned about the risks of infectious diseases, chronic diseases, and the impact of long-term exposure to toxic substances. 

In general, the survey reveals a low level of confidence in the ability of governments to address these risks alone. More than 55% of respondents said they consider a collective and global approach is the “most appropriate way” to propose effective solutions. 

Thomas Buberl, CEO of AXA, said: “As an insurer, our mission is to offer protection solutions for today’s risks, but also to help our clients and society anticipate tomorrow’s risks.AXA’s Future Risks Report Is an essential tool for achieving this.

“This edition is marked by the return of climate change as the number one risk, but also by the strong concern regarding cyber risk. In the aftermath of the health crisis, this report also reveals our society’s high expectations towards public and private players to offer new and collective protection to face constantly evolving risks.”

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