Insurers and Climate Change

Caroline McDonald


December 1, 2016

climate change

While more U.S. insurers are improving their disclosure and management of climate risk, most are still giving it minimal attention, according to nonprofit sustainability group Ceres’ 2016 Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey Report & Scorecard.

The number of insurers receiving high scores more than doubled since the last report in 2014, from nine to 22, “but too many insurance companies are still ignoring the issue, especially when it comes to engaging on climate policies that would reduce the pollution causing climate change in the first place,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres.

Of the 375 insurers surveyed, 16 of the top 22 are property/casualty insurers, which are “directly exposed to climate risks through policies they write for homeowners, vehicles and businesses.” Insurers are urged to elevate climate risk leadership to the board and C-suite levels; consider climate and carbon risks in investment portfolios; engage with key stakeholders on climate risk and the benefits of policies that will strengthen climate resiliency; and reduce carbon pollution and integrate climate risk into enterprise risk management frameworks. The study also recommends that regulators continue to expand mandatory climate risk reporting for insurers.