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A collection of views on the impact of climate change on liability insurance

Publication by Munich Re: Liability for Climate Change: Experts’ views on a potential emerging risk


Disclaimer: This is a high level summary and is not intended to be an executive summary of the publication or to formally summarise the publication in any way. The reader should refer to the original publication and should not rely on this description for any purpose.

  • The publication is a collection of views from industry and academic professionals.


  • As mentioned in the Foreword, the articles look at the role of professional indemnity, as well as the risk of liability claims based on damage allegedly resulting from CO2 emissions caused by industry, for example on the lines of class-action suits against tobacco producers or companies processing asbestos.
  • We have selected two of the articles that we believe to be of interest to the reader; for a full list of articles the reader should refer to the original publication.


  • ‘Attributing extreme weather events: Implications for liability’ comments that the dominant impacts of climate change over the next few decades are likely to be due to changing risks of extreme weather events. The article comments that the scientific evidence for human influence in specific damaging weather events is evolving in such a way that the issue of liability is almost certain to figure more prominently in the near future. That said, the article points to there being difficulties in asserting liability to specific parties, due to the large number of parties that could be considered to contribute to the climate change problem.


  • ‘Professional liability and global warming claims’ makes similar comments, for example that determining the exposure to global warming-related claims faced by a range of professionals (possibly including actuaries) is a difficult task, due to the large number of potential impacts of climate change and an uncertain legal and regulatory environment regarding climate change-related liabilities. The article also points to the suggestion that legal costs of insurers may rise significantly given this uncertain legal environment.
  • This publication offers insight into potential impacts of climate change on liability insurance business, which is widely written in Hong Kong and across the region.


  • Any emerging trends of liability business would be expected to impact a wide range of actuarial and insurance processes, including pricing, reserving, risk and capital management, product design and asset management.