The former president of international insurance outfit GCube has launched a new-model broker targeting the renewable energy, power, infrastructure and transport sectors at a time when climate change-driven extreme weather is increasing natural-catastrophe risks to project development and operation.

Green is the new black. Subscribe to Accelerate

Get the market insight you need into the global oil & gas industry's energy transition – from the new newsletter from Upstream and Recharge. Sign up here

Nardac – name after a character in Jonathan Swift’s novel Gulliver’s Travels – aims to focus on owner-operators with assets valued of more than $1bn developing large, complex infrastructure projects, including offshore wind farms, in Europe, the US and Asia.

“The wholesale insurance market is long overdue for some higher caliber operators, product innovation, and a client-centric, flexible service delivery,” said Sharma, who is joined in the new venture by Brandon Statton, formerly with contractor Bechtel and Bill Kost, previously with Lockton.

“As governments and institutional investors worldwide look to a post-Covid green recovery, the investment we’ll see in large renewable infrastructure in the coming decades will be of a scale previously unimaginable.

“It is imperative, therefore, that we ensure that we support this rapid pace of development through robust asset protection, where the vast majority of retail broker advisory, products and supporting capital currently falls woefully short,” said Sharma.

Sharma, who contributes opinion columns regularly to Recharge Circuit, said that the rise of climate change-fuelled natural-catastrophe risks to existing and planned project development meant there was “an emerging deficiency in standard insurance products that traditionally supported the risk mitigation and resiliency of power and infrastructure [sectors]”.

“We’re ready to deploy some highly specialised products and look forward to partnering with new clients on their most challenging and exciting projects and portfolios in development, construction, and operation.”

Insurance rates for wind and solar projects around the world have rising by 20-40% after a long overdue “correction” in the market, after a decade when rates dropped by 5-15% annually as multiple insurers entered the renewables market and offered cheap policies in order to build up their share of the business.