As the world faces the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis and its consequences, measuring and analysing the perception of emerging risks to anticipate major trends is essential for an insurance company with a long-term focus and is beneficial for society at large says Thomas Buberl, AXA CEO.
The first lesson [taken from our Future Risks Report] is that health is now the top priority. While it is unfortunate that it took such a tragic context for it to reach number one in our ranking, we find the increased awareness of health risks encouraging when compared with previous years. AXA has long been convinced that health is one of the most important challenges of our time and is committed to protecting people and societies from the associated risks.
The second lesson is the decreased perceived risk of climate change. While it remains the highest priority for our European respondents, we note that climate change has dropped to second place overall. Given the context, this may not seem unusual, but the drop in absolute terms is concerning, especially among our American and Asian respondents, as we believe that shorter-term issues around the pandemic should not completely overshadow longer-term threats. I am convinced that we must remain fully committed to doing our part to tackle climate change, and AXA certainly is.
Last, [the Future Risks Report] reinforced our observation from previous years: risks are increasingly connected and interdependent. The current pandemic exemplifies how they are global, complex, and, therefore, difficult to address. Insurers cannot tackle them alone. This is why AXA was the first insurer to suggest the creation of a pandemic insurance scheme to share the burden between governments and private actors.
Our research also shows that 73% of the general public and 83% of risk experts believe that populations around the world are more vulnerable today than they were five years ago. In an increasingly uncertain world with more complex and connected risks, I believe that insurance can offer protection, expertise, and clarity, thus contributing to individual peace of mind and collective improvement. This is why at AXA, in line with our purpose, we act for human progress by protecting what matters.