The survey of 60 insurers, banks and asset managers - including Aviva, Banco Santander, Deutsche Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ and Citigroup - found that climate expertise was an emerging factor of competition.
"More than half of the respondents feel that the level of information today is not sufficient," according to the study by the UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) Finance Initiative.
Last year was among the six most loss-intensive years for insurers since 1980, largely due to an increase in natural disasters, 90% of which were weather-related.
Johanna Weber, the head of media relations at German insurance firm Munich Re, said she could not rule out future European insurance premiums being affected. "We have cycles in the reinsurance markets and they are renewed every year, so of course they have to take into account long-term developments," she said.
Respondents to the UNEP survey expected the risks of climate change to increase in the years ahead.
Ernst Rauch, head of the corporate Climate Centre at Munich Re, issued a statement saying that climate data and its interpretation would become increasingly important for businesses.
"The key role financial institutions and other private sector decision-makers can play in increasing the climate resilience of economies and societies has been neglected at best," said Paul Clements Hunt, the head of UNEP's Finance Initiative.
Respondents to the survey were most keen to know how far climate predictions could be trusted. They also called for more detailed regional climate projections.
The study showed that 89% of financial groups operating in Africa felt inadequately informed about the regional climate risks. By contrast in Europe, just 56% felt inadequately informed.
More generally though, a lack of knowledge about the impacts of climate change on individual business sectors, such as health care, chemicals, tourism and mining, emerged from the study.