Climate Change & The London Insurance Market: Are We Doing Enough?

Insurance companies face the dual challenge of addressing escalating climate change risks and shifting industry regulations. See why climate insurance risk is intensifying, examine the insurance industry’s response to climate change, and explore items insurers should consider to address and achieve greater resilience by listening to the excellent speakers—David Nicholson, Lindsay Keenan, Chris Thomas, and Zina Saeed—in the podcast below.

David Nicholson
Underwriter, Beazley Group

David Nicholson began his insurance career as a broker in 1984 and joined Beazley in 1986. During the course of his career, he has underwritten a broad book of business including professional liability, product contamination, and intellectual property risks. He now focuses on insuring specialist law firms, some of which are regarded as difficult to place by other insurers.

David also runs the website, which covers the transition from fossil fuel to CleanTech especially in transport and cars.

Lindsay Keenan
Senior Strategist and European Coordinator, Insure our Future 

Lindsay is the European coordinator of the Insure our Future network (formally Unfriend Coal). He has 30 years of experience campaigning on environment and social justice issues including 10 years as a senior international campaigner with Greenpeace working on corporate and political policy on a range of issues including sustainable agriculture, oceans governance, climate change and the Arctic.

Chris Thomas
Senior International Construction Underwriter 

Chris Thomas’ 15 years underwriting experience focused on construction, plant and machinery and liability across company market, syndicate and latterly MGA platforms have allowed him to gain a broad understanding of the challenges faced by a myriad of industries. He is particularly interested in technological advances in the plant and construction fields and the part this plays in the challenges of global climate change.

Zina Saeed
Senior Underwriter, US Professional Lines, HDI Global Specialty  

Zina Saeed is the Chair of the PLUS London Chapter and works with HDI Global Specialty in London. Her insurance career has spanned almost 20 years specialising in U.S. & International Professional Liability. Zina has a legal background and began her insurance career as a Claims Manager for a Lloyd’s syndicate before moving to Chicago in 2009 joining W.R. Berkley focusing on large professional liability claims and later transitioned to Underwriting. She returned to London in 2014 as Head of Professional Liability for the W.R. Berkley Syndicate. Zina has a keen interest in the interplay between the evolution of firm culture and claims outcomes.

The 100 Year Storm – Coming to You 3 Times this Decade

For this week’s Fall Through the Cracks Friday we turn to a great article which appeared on Insurance Journal’s website this week. According to the article, and research conducted by MIT and Princeton, those fabled ‘100 year storms’ that are held as epic events are actually much more frequent than once per century. In fact, these 100 year events can actually occur every 3 to 20 years!

From the article:

Today, a “100-year storm” means a surge flood of about two meters, on average, in New York. Roughly every 500 years, the region experiences towering, three-meter-high surge floods. Both scenarios, Lin notes, would easily top Manhattan’s seawalls, which stand 1.5 meters high.

But with added greenhouse gas emissions, the models found that a two-meter surge flood would instead occur once every three to 20 years; a three-meter flood would occur every 25 to 240 years.

“The highest [surge flood] was 3.2 meters, and this happened in 1821,” Lin says. “That’s the highest water level observed in New York City’s history, which is like a present 500-year event.”

Carol Friedland, an assistant professor of construction management and industrial engineering at Louisiana State University, said she sees the group’s results as a useful tool to inform coastal design — particularly as most buildings are designed with a 60 to 120-year “usable lifespan.”

Check out the entire article at

Enjoy the upcoming weekend!