Floods affect more people globally than any other type of natural hazard and cause some of the largest economic, social and humanitarian losses. There is a growing natural hazards protection gap between the total economic losses and the insured proportion of those losses that highlights this problem needs to be tackled both by traditional risk transfer mechanisms such as insurance, and by leveraging the insurance industry’s knowledge on risk management and risk reduction. By using Zurich’s risk expertise as a global insurer, we can help customers and communities reduce the devastating impacts of floods - even before a flood hits - and build community flood resilience in a more integrated way.
The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance
The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, a multi-sector partnership focusing on finding practical ways to help communities strengthen their resilience to floods globally – and save lives was launched in 2013. In the first phase of the program, we have reached over 225,000 direct beneficiaries across our 13 programs in nine countries. For more information on phase 1 2013-2018, download the alliance report and executive summary.
In the second five-year phase of the program launched in July 2018, the Alliance aims to increase the investment going into pre-event resilience building by USD 1 billion and commits to scaling up its work in climate action, to help make 2 million people more resilient to flooding, both by the end of 2023. We already know that every USD 1 invested in prevention saves on average USD 5 in future losses. We will do this by rolling out best-practice community programs that demonstrate the value of resilience-building; compiling best practices and success stories; and advocating for more investment in resilience with authorities and public and private funders. We share our knowledge on our own flood resilience portal.
Our aims and pledges
We focus on shifting from post-event recovery to stress the importance of pre-event resilience building. Our vision is that floods have no negative impact on people’s and businesses’ ability to thrive. Our aims are:
- Supporting the generation of USD 1 billion in additional funding for flood resilience
- Encouraging effective public policy in support of flood resilience
- Developing sound practices and policy support for flood resilience
- Measurably enhance flood resilience in vulnerable communities across the world.
Zurich is a signatory of the 'United for disaster resilience' statement, the insurance industry’s statement in support of disaster risk reduction. Zurich has also made a voluntary commitment to the 'Insurance industry commitments to build disaster resilience and promote sustainable development'.
Closing the Water Window
Over the course of 2016-19 to accelerate the impact of Zurich Flood Resilience Program’s work the Z Zurich Foundation invested USD 10 million through the Global Resilience Partnership’s Water Window Challenge. Read more in the summary report