Various disasters in recent decades have confirmed that the risk from water-related events has been increasing significantly worldwide. Among those events are tsunamis, storm surges, river floods, flash floods, mass movements and droughts. The driving factors of this risk are the unabated increase in global population, the concentration of people in high-risk areas such as coasts, flood plains and hillsides, the rise in vulnerability of assets, infrastructure and social systems, and the consequences of environmental and climatic changes. Risk reduction requires general awareness at all levels of society and a partnership between the public sector, the people concerned and the insurance industry. Structural and nonstructural precautionary measures are always cheaper in the long run than paying losses. Overall economic consequences are significantly less severe in societies with a high insurance penetration.

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