Insurers Must Think About Climate Change

By: Jill Cordes
By: Jill Cordes

Insurance companies have plenty of things to worry about these days. Some investor groups want to make sure that climate change is added to that list.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners recently adopted a new requirement: Insurance companies with annual premiums of half a billion or more to identify and disclose the financial risks they face from global warming.

The goal is to make sure that insurers consider the threat of climate change on their bottom lines. It's a reminder of the major financial consequences associated with climate change.

A study done last year by Ernst & Young says climate change is the number one strategic risk currently facing the insurance industry. That's partly because climate change causes an increase in the frequency and intensity of storms. The 10 most expensive natural catastrophes in U.S. history have all occurred within the last 20 years. Hurricanes and other severe weather have cost insurers nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars in the last decade.


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