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November 23rd, 2007
Nanotechnology, climate change, infrastructure among top risks
The four emerging risks facing insurers moving forward are nanotechnology, climate change, aging infrastructure and "the unknown," Robert Landry, president and CEO of Zurich's Canadian operations told delegates of the Property Casualty Underwriters Club luncheon.
While the science is still new, Landry compared the development and use of nanomaterials to that of asbestos. With so many unknowns, and such widespread use (by 2008 the demand for nanoscale materials will be $28 billion), we cannot be sure that there is not a risk to human health somewhere, he said.
The industry, he continued, needs to be proactive in addressing climate change. Changes are already apparent and will have a ripple effect, he warned.
"Right now the best place to grow a tree is in central British Columbia. In 80 years, it will be just north of the Yukon border. Think of the effect that will have on your clients in the forestry industry."
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