A leading World Bank insurance expert has said that public-private partnerships (PPPs) offered insurance companies huge opportunities in dealing with the threat of climate change.

Eugene Gurenko told the Insurance Times Insuring Climate Change Conference this week: “Insurance is more and more seen as an important climate change adaptation tool by affected governments and individuals, which enhances business opportunities for insurers.”

Gurenko, who is lead insurance and risk management specialist at the World Bank, added: “The creation of public-private partnerships in weather-catastrophe insurance may be an effective way to reduce financial vulnerability of businesses and households to climate change.”

But David Crichton, visiting professor at Benfield Hazard Research, warned that insurers were slow to focus on new developments in the insurance climate change market.

He said: “Insurers bleat on about spending on flooding defences, but there are alternatives, but insurers are not financing these alternatives.”

The full report on the conference is available online from 25 October