Climate Change and Insurance: How South African Businesses Can Mitigate Risks

Climate Change picture of earth

Climate change has cast a long and ominous shadow over the global landscape in recent years. According to this report, from Global Change Institute University of the Witwatersrand, in particular, stands at the forefront of this crisis, grappling with the alarming reality of warming at twice the global average rate. 

Startling statistics from Greenpeace further emphasise the gravity of the situation in South Africa. Since 1980, the country has faced 86 weather-related disasters, impacting over 22 million people and resulting in losses exceeding R113 billion. Events like the near-water crisis in Cape Town in 2018 and widespread flooding across all provinces in the first half of 2021 only exacerbate the challenges.

In light of these statistics, South African businesses must adopt proactive measures to address climate-related risks within the business sector. RBS Insurance Brokers stands ready to assist, offering proactive insurance portfolio management to help companies mitigate risks and confidently confront these challenges.

Here are several ways through which businesses can leverage insurance to navigate the complexities of weather events and environmental changes:

  • Proactive risk mitigation is the cornerstone of resilience. RBS Insurance Brokers provide invaluable insights into risk reduction strategies tailored to your business. From implementing flood-resistant landscaping to fortifying structures against storms and flooding, our experts can guide companies in identifying practical steps to enhance safety.

Besides water damage, fires are one of the critical challenges for businesses to mitigate moving forward and an area that insurance companies are clamping down on. Businesses need to be aware of their responsibilities to reduce risk and ensure fire systems and alarms are in place and working otherwise, claims can be repudiated.

  • Building resilience involves strategically investing in infrastructure improvements, sustainable practices, and adopting environmentally friendly technologies. Proactively enhancing resilience reduces insurance premiums and ensures long-term sustainability in the face of climate challenges.
  • Recovery Assistance. In situations where damage is unavoidable, RBS Insurance Brokers play a crucial role in helping businesses recover from shocks or disasters. Post-event recovery assistance will be vital in the years ahead as the environment evolves alongside the changing climate.

By embracing proactive risk mitigation, strategic adaptation, and a steadfast commitment to resilience, businesses can protect themselves from extreme weather events and environmental changes and pave the way for a sustainable and secure future. The journey towards climate resilience begins today, and RBS is dedicated to guiding businesses every step of the way.

About RBS

Risk Benefit Solutions, better known as RBS, originated as an entrepreneurial-focused services business in 1998 and today is one of the largest fully-fledged black-owned insurance brokers in South Africa and a Level One BBBEE contributor. Celebrating 25 years in business this year, our growth has contributed to offering clients a unique approach to risk management by positioning our skilled resources as an extension of our client’s risk management team. Our company covers various services, including Insurance Broking, Risk Management, Commercial and Corporate Risk Advisors, and Corporate Vehicle Hire Services. With its head office in Cape Town, RBS has offices in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and globally, represented through its board membership with WING (Worldwide Insurance Network Group).