BRIEF – 17 November 2009 – Zurich Insurance has commissioned a national program of intensive one-day training for key brokers so that they can better advise their customers about climate-related risks.

The program, which starts in Melbourne today, is being conducted by Climate Risk Pty Ltd.

The move follows an Insurance Council of Australia report that said  insured losses from weather related incidents increased from 12 per cent to more than 31 per cent between 2000 and 2007.

“There may be debates about the speed and scale of climate change, but everyone agrees there is a risk.  And when people and businesses want advice about risk they usually go to insurance brokers. That is why it is crucial brokers are across climate change,” Zurich Australia chief executive David Smith, said.

Climate Risk’s director of corporate analysis, Karl Mallon said the response from insurance brokers to the offer of climate change training had been “phenomenal.”

“Australia is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts like more intense bushfires, heat-waves, droughts and flooding. Many of our major coastal cities are exposed to sea level rise and more severe storms.

“Our training will also cover what companies need to do to adjust to a price on carbon emissions,” Dr Mallon said.

tperinotto@thefifthestate.com.au