Opinion | The “Big Six” Lifestyle Factors and Why Swiss Re Believes Insurers Should Support Them With Real Dollars

By: | November 9, 2021

Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected].

Now and then a news release comes pinging into my e-mail inbox which gladdens my heart. Admittedly, it’s a rare occurrence.

In this case, the soul celebration was spurred by an October release from Swiss Re, which announced its report, “Biodiversity and the Benefits for Human Health.”

The upshot? Swiss Re is suggesting that the insurance industry standardize how it measures the benefits of time spent in nature. COVID taught us that time spent in lockdown, cut off from hiking, biking and other time spent in green spaces, was detrimental to our mental and physical health.

Ongoing loss of biodiversity overall is also having a direct impact on our collective health, the report stipulates.

Swiss Re estimates that the  global economic burden of mental illness was $2.5 trillion in 2010.  That figure is expected to reach $6 trillion by 2030. The global cost of cardiovascular disease was estimated at $863 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach more than $1 trillion by 2030.

Swiss Re is taking a stand for global mental and physical health by saying we should put aside more land for parks and plant more trees.

“Ultimately, urban and suburban green areas cool, clean the air and provide space for relaxation while reducing heat and respiratory conditions,” the company wrote in its October press release.

I can share that time spent in a 700-plus nature preserve near where I live has been instrumental in maintaining my mental and physical health during this 18-month plus work-from-home stretch.

Swiss Re’s step in this direction is more than welcome in this corner. &

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance