Insurers are failing to adequately plan for climate change risks, according to a report by Ceres, thus endangering not only the consumers and businesses that depend on them but also their own survival.
Only one out of eight among the companies reviewed in the report have formal policies to deal with those risks, according to a mandatory 2010 survey. Ceres is a nonprofit coalition that seeks to help companies address ways to deal with climate change.
The report, “Climate Risk Disclosure by Insurers: Evaluating Insurer Responses to the NAIC Climate Disclosure Survey,” was released Sept, 1 and was to have been presented at a conference of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) that was canceled due to Hurricane Irene.
The report analyzed the public filings with state insurance commissioners of 88 leading insurers in the U.S. regarding climate change, and looked at the degree to which those companies are including it in their business plans. The disclosures came from filings with regulators in New York, New Jersey, California, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington.
Ceres President Mindy Lubber wrote in the report’s foreword, “The findings are both illuminating and disillusioning. While the survey revealed a broad consensus among insurers that climate change will have an effect on extreme weather events, few insurers were able to articulate a coherent plan to manage the risks and opportunities associated with climate change.”