Ethiopia is a country prone to many climate risks, which particularly affect its majority rural population. To manage these agriculture-related climate risks, Ethiopian farmers respond by spending their savings, selling valuable assets at heavy discounts, and reducing consumption.
Until recently, insurers barely had any footprint in rural areas with smallholder farmers. In fact, 2014 data shows that less than 2% of Ethiopians were covered by any type of formal microinsurance product. Because insurance is an ex-post tool and not all risks are insurable, a holistic approach to dealing with climate risks is needed to help vulnerable communities become more resilient.
In this article, Milliman’s Mariah Mateo Sarpong and Mebrahtu Brhan Gebre present an example of a holistic risk management solution that the MicroInsurance Centre at Milliman developed for smallholder farmers in northern Ethiopia. The product illustrates Milliman’s Climate Resilience Initiative’s holistic approach to enhancing climate resilience in low-income communities.
While many consumers may recognize the risk of extreme weather-related events, they don’t yet fully understand what they can do to protect their property from a flood, wildfire, or other catastrophic event. One effect of the growing awareness and discussion regarding climate change is that extreme weather events tend to drive consumers to inform themselves about insurance options. Milliman analysis of Google Trends dating back to 2004 identified an increase in interest for search terms related to catastrophe insurance, with surges of online searches occurring around the time of severe weather events.
According to a December 2018 report by Yale and George Mason Universities, a record number of Americans believe that global warming is real and are increasingly worried about its effect on their lives. In this paper, Milliman’s Nancy Watkins and Elias Braunstein explain in more detail the impact of extreme weather on consumers and how insurers can take advantage of increasing climate change awareness to engage more with the public about climate resilience.
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