NEW YORK, June 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- To mark the beginning of hurricane season, more than 150 leading environmentalists, policy makers, scientists and insurance industry experts gathered at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) yesterday to discuss the recovery of lower Manhattan and the lessons learned since Superstorm Sandy during the "New York Recovery & Resilience Leadership Forum," sponsored by one of the world's leading catastrophe reinsurers, RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.
The forum covered a number of important issues raised by Sandy, including New York's and the region's recovery, efforts to promote resilience before the inevitable next storm, the benefits of scientifically sound construction and mitigation, the positive impact of endemic coastal ecosystems and "natural buffers," and the role of the private sector in fostering adaptation and sound rebuilding.
Stephen Weinstein, Chairman of the RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation, the lead sponsor for the Forum, and Group General Counsel of RenaissanceRe said, "Closing the coverage gap between economic risk and private market protection is an industry imperative that requires a coordinated effort between law-makers, insurers, reinsurers, academics, scientists and private citizens alike. Cross-disciplinary efforts like today's forum are an important step in this process. We know the next Superstorm Sandy is coming. Will we be ready? RenaissanceRe is proud to provide a platform to bring together a cross-section of leaders focused on making sure that the answer is yes."
Speakers at the symposium, alongside executives from RenaissanceRe, included the Hon. Michael Dunkley, Premier of Bermuda; Katherine Greig, Deputy Director at the New York City Mayor's Office of Recovery & Resiliency; John M. Huff, Director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration and President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners; Samantha Medlock of the White House Office of Management and Budget; Collin O'Mara, CEO of the National Wildlife Foundation; and Julie Rochman, President & CEO of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.
John Tuttle, Global Head of Listings at the NYSE, delivered the event's opening remarks, which explored the role the private sector can play to accelerate resiliency. Additional panel discussions explored mitigation efforts made in New York City since Superstorm Sandy, ways to boost resilient recovery following a natural catastrophe, the appropriate role of government toward mitigation, and whether major urban areas across the country are sufficiently prepared to deal with severe weather in the future.
"Storm Sandy brought to the forefront the important role the private sector can play in utilizing data, technology and innovative business models to make sure we're better prepared for the next event of its kind," said John Tuttle. "By working with government agencies, our elected officials and others in the public sector, we can accelerate resilience in New York, across the US and in markets around the world."
Hon. Michael Dunkley, Premier of Bermuda said, "Bermuda has a genuine understanding of the challenges faced by all those living through natural disasters—especially during hurricane season. And like New York City, we're a top-tier international financial center that is respected worldwide thanks in great part to the insurers and reinsurers who make their home in our jurisdiction. So we are delighted to participate in this unique opportunity to trade insights and connect with others who have endured and overcome significant natural catastrophes."
"Superstorm Sandy proved that extreme weather can have profound impacts on our city and the region. The risks are only growing – and the most vulnerable communities are often the ones that can least afford it. The New York City Mayor's Office is pleased to be part of this effort to promote best practices on flood adaptation and mitigation strategies with leaders who share our commitment to making our city, its residents and businesses more resilient to impacts of extreme weather and climate change," said Katherine Greig, Deputy Director at NYC Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency.
"Sandy produced and increased building system fatigue, particularly in older structures. This could lead to increased failure of critical structural elements in the future, such as the roof. It is vital that building owners, designers, builders and contractors approach commercial and residential structures as systems – one weak link in that systemic chain can lead to catastrophic damage. By sharing IBHS data and insights with a cross-section of public and private sector leaders interested in driving resiliency, we can help protect homes, businesses and communities when Mother Nature roars," said Julie Rochman, President & CEO, Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.
More information about the New York Recovery & Resilience Leadership Forum is available at www.mitigationleadership.com.
RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. is a global provider of reinsurance and insurance. The Company's business consists of three reportable segments: (1) Catastrophe Reinsurance, which includes catastrophe reinsurance and certain property catastrophe joint ventures managed by the Company's ventures unit; (2) Specialty Reinsurance, which includes specialty reinsurance and certain specialty joint ventures managed by the Company's ventures unit; and (3) Lloyd's, which includes reinsurance and insurance business written through RenaissanceRe Syndicate 1458.
About the RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation
RenaissanceRe created the RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation to support advanced scientific research in natural catastrophes, the development of risk mitigation and adaptive techniques to safeguard communities, efforts that reduce the economic turmoil following disasters, and organizations that preserve coastal and other risk-exposed habitats. The Foundation promotes education, preparation, adaptation, and mitigation of catastrophic risks. For more information, visit: www.mitigationleadership.com.
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SOURCE New York Recovery & Resilience Leadership Forum