US insurance industry seeks to avoid climate change risks

A new report from Ceres, formerly the Coalition for Environmentally responsible economies, ranks large US insurance companies on their response to climate change.

Findings include:

  • most of the company responses show a profound lack of preparedness in addressing climate-related risks and opportunities.
  • insurers are using climate-informed catastrophe models to better quantify climate-related risks from more frequent and intense weather catastrophes.
  • barely 10 percent of the insurers overall have issued public climate risk management statements articulating the company’s understanding of climate science and its implications for core underwriting and their vast investment portfolios.
  • many insurers are seeking to reduce their exposure to climate change risks by not providing insurance in higher risk markets.
  • very few insurers are working with their clients to reduce risks through such measures as more durable construction techniques.
  • some insurance companies are going to court to fight claims that arise from climate change related events, and sometimes they win.

While GallonDaily is not aware of any similar research on Canadian insurer practices we suspect that similar findings may apply in this country. We invite comments from those with direct knowledge of such matters to comment.

A summary and a link to the 54 page plus appendices report [free registration required] can be found at http://www.ceres.org/press/press-releases/first-of-its-kind-report-ranks-u.s.-insurance-companies-on-climate-change-responses

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