Date of publication: 21 November 2003
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From the increasing incidence of environmental pollution and soil contamination, to recurring natural disasters, the risks posed by the constant interaction between human activities and the environment are diverse, manifold and often catastrophic in their consequences. Therefore, the elaboration of effective risk-management plans, aimed at formulating viable response strategies, requires the contribution of all the economic actors involved: private parties, financial institutions, governments and international organisations.
This report focuses on the role of insurance and reinsurance companies in the management of environmental risks - environmental pollution risk and natural catastrophe risk in particular.
It discusses the issue of insurability of such risks, analyses the increasing risk of liability for environmental pollution and the underlying trends in the development of environmental liability regimes in OECD countries.
It also presents an overview of the various environmental pollution insurance products and techniques developed in response to legal and factual evolutions. In addition, it describes the special features of natural catastrophe risks, the role of traditional insurance markets in the coverage of such perils, and alternative options of coverage, from governmental disaster schemes to new financial market instruments.