Insurer body to advise on climate risk to properties.

The ABI has set out its climate change strategy for the coming year.

Its plans include advising on climate risk to properties, launching surface water research and unveiling new findings on the economic costs of climate impacts.

First on the association’s agenda will be to publish a guide on climate change risks for developers this autumn. This will act as a precursor to the changes due on 1 January 2009, when the statement in principle for flood insurance will no longer apply to new builds.

Following the guide for new builds, the ABI will publish a paper that will highlight the feasibility and importance of improving the climate resilience of existing buildings.

Swenja Surminski, policy adviser for climate at the ABI, said: “Our strategy is about adapting, mitigating and making sure everything is done to reduce the impact of what we’ve already got in the system.

“One thing that everyone agrees on is that the flood risk may not be getting worse today or tomorrow. But in the next 50 years the flood risk for most people is going to get worse and it’s not just from the rivers or the seas, it’s from surface water drainage too.”

Next spring, the ABI will publish the results of its study of surface water management. This will be followed in the summer by updated estimates for the financial costs of climate change.

The ABI believes the launch of its Climate Wise initiative last year has highlighted how seriously insurers take these issues. It says insurers are keen to understand the implications of climate change and are already engaging in public debates to promote better risk reduction..