Climate change is also noticeable in Switzerland – there is an accumulation of natural disasters. There are increasing numbers of losses due to avalanches in winter, floods caused by heavy rainfall, extreme droughts and heatwaves in summer. Is it possible to insure against the consequences of climate change?
According to AXA's assessment, climate change will be one of the principal risks in coming years. In fact, the insurer rates climate change as the greatest risk worldwide.
Since 1864, when temperature measurements in Switzerland began, the average temperature in the country has risen by 1.9 degrees Celsius. There has been a particularly sharp increase in temperatures over the last 30 years.
Over the last 150 years, temperatures in Switzerland as a whole have risen twice as fast as the global average. The impact of warming on the northern side of the Alps is considerably greater than on the southern side.
Winters are becoming warmer and there are fewer and fewer frost days. In 1890, for example, Davos still experienced 231 frost days. But in 2018, only 161 days below 0 degrees were measured.
Because of Switzerland's geographical location, the impact of climate change on our country is more severe than the international average. There are two reasons for this:
You can find out more at swissinfo.ch: «How climate change affects Switzerland»
"Don't wait for the politicians – people must try to play their own part! Everyone has to make their own individual decisions about preventing or reducing carbon dioxide. For example, people could choose not to consume products from very distant countries. "
Climate change is man-made, and we are experiencing it right now. If we do not take any climate protection measures, we must expect severe consequences – and that applies to Switzerland, too. Temperatures will rise sharply, and extreme precipitation events will increase.
Warming will increase sharply. We will experience more days with temperatures above 30°C. Without climate protection measures, the situation will become very alarming – especially for the Mittelland.
The Mittelland is a relatively low-lying region, so temperatures are bound to rise there. At higher altitudes, of course, the threshold of 30 degrees cannot be reached so easily.
Here, you can watch the entire interview with Professor Dr. Christoph Raible on "Climate change and the insurance market":
By 2060, there will be a significant increase in summer days (when temperatures above 25 degrees are measured) if no steps are taken to counteract climate change. Without climate protection, the average number of summer days in the Mittelland would increase to between 60 and 95 – and on the valley floors in Ticino, the figure could possibly be over 120. With climate protection, the number of summer days per year could be limited to between 40 and 75 in the Mittelland while in Ticino, only the lowest altitudes would experience over 100 summer days.
At present, snow falls in the central High Alps on an average of over 100 days per year. By 2060, many places in the Alps will experience fewer than 80 days with fresh snowfall each year if no climate protection measures are taken. The number of days with fresh snowfall in the Mittelland will fall to well below 20 without climate protection.
In the high mountain regions, there is still frost on one third of all days at present; by 2060, the number of frost days there will decrease by well over 50 if no climate protection measures are taken.
To learn more about climate scenarios for Switzerland, go to the website of the National Centre for Climate Services (NCCS).
The number of natural perils will increase due to climate warming. More frequent and more intensive extreme weather events must also be expected in the future. There will also be an increase in the natural perils occurring in regions and during seasons that have been spared from loss events until now.
Because of increased temperatures, the rising snowfall line and changes in precipitation, the following risks can be expected to increase in the future:
According to a UN report in 2011, Switzerland is the world's best-prepared country for natural disasters. One of the core elements of Swiss risk management to counteract natural perils is insurance against damage by natural forces: this gives Switzerland insurance against natural perils that is unique in the world. Insurance against damage by natural forces covers losses and damage arising from high water, flood, storm, hail, avalanche, snow load, rockslide, rockfall or landslide. It provides virtually comprehensive insurance coverage. Nowadays, 99% of all buildings – together with furniture and facilities (known as movables) – are insured against damage from natural forces.
What can I insure, and where can I insure it?