Franck Baron urges risk managers to immediately change their approach to natural catastrophes to better prepare for disaster when it strikes

Risk managers need to change their way of assessing the risk of natural catastrophes following a spate of large-scale disasters in 2017, says PARIMA chairman Franck Baron.

Commenting on the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) Risk Report, Baron said a new way of thinking is needed to help curb the rising costs of natural catastrophes on businesses.

“If you look at 2017 and how damaging it has been in terms of natural catastrophes, I believe, as a risk specialist, that we are now entering a new norm. We need to stop seeing these types of events as a once-in-one-hundred years type of event and starting seeing this as our new norm in terms of risk mapping.”

“We are now facing a multiplication of natural disorders like this. We are going to be part of very turbulent large-scale type of weather events. As noted in the WEF report, this is likely a result of global warming. I think that it should be seen this way now - a new norm,” he added.

Baron said Asian countries like Taiwan, Philippines and Thailand are all very regularly impacted by typhoons and other types of natural events, so it the risk of such events does not come as a surprise to them.

Adding caution, Baron said: “This being said, if you look at the maturity of governments and their approach to dealing with natural catastrophe events, there is still a lot to do. They need to make sure they have a consistent approach to damage control and to make sure that their infrastructures can be properly protected and maintained.”