Warning Climate Change Just Ahead written on green road sign against clear blue sky background. Concept image with available copy spaceInsurance carriers trying to measure clients’ concerns about climate change should take note. Four out of five small and medium-sized businesses fear its impact on their bottom lines, according to a new Zurich Insurance survey.

What Zurich found: 78 percent of small and medium-sized businesses surveyed are worried that climate change is poised to significantly impact their business. Out of those who are getting anxious about climate change impacts, 22 percent said that heavy rain is the most significant climate change risk they faced, while 20 percent blamed drought, according to the survey.

Among other results:

  • 36 percent said that material damage is likely to be the most critical risk to their business due to climate change.
  • The threat of business interruptions ranked highest for 26 percent of respondents.
  • 14 percent of respondents said supply chain interruptions due to higher costs for energy and water and the impact of extreme climate on employees’ health are also risks to worry about.
  • 25 percent of respondents in Europe said they didn’t see a negative impact on their businesses from climate change. Out of the 75 percent that worried about climate, 22 percent said they were most concerned about flooding.
  • Only 6 percent of U.S. manager respondents expect no climate change-related impact on their businesses.
  • More than 75 percent of U.S. respondents said they worried about extreme precipitation and droughts.
  • 26 percent of U.S. respondents said the health status of their workforce was their second-biggest climate change-related concern.
  • 36 percent of Latin American respondents were most worried about climate change-driven extreme downpours and heavy rain.
  • 34 percent of Asia Pacific respondents said droughts and heat connected to climate change would have the biggest potential impact on their businesses.

Zurich noted that while some multinationals see business opportunities in mitigating climate change, most survey respondents didn’t see the environmental phenomenon as offering the same.

The survey polled 2,600 C-suite executives and managers at small and medium-sized businesses in 13 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific.

Source: Zurich Insurance