Insurers lead on climate issues, Triple-I CEO tells regulators

ARLINGTON, Va., June 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — On the first day of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) The CEO briefed regulators on steps U.S. insurers are taking to reduce weather-related risks as natural disasters increase in frequency and severity.

“Environmental, social and governance – ESG – issues are in insurance industry DNA“, Sean KevelighanCEO of Triple-I, said during a roundtable today hosted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Climate and Resilience Working Group. “While ESG priorities may seem new to many industries, insurers have long been involved in understanding and managing these and other risk factors as a fundamental part of doing business.”

For example, insurers and reinsurers have announced over the past year investment decisions which will likely lead to carbon emission reductions, he added.

“Insured losses from natural disasters have increased nearly 700% since the 1980s and four of the five costliest natural disasters in the history of the United States have occurred over the past decade,” Kevelighan continued.

To illustrate this point, the Triple-I CEO showed an inflation-adjusted chart showing a yearly average of $5 billion of insured losses caused by natural disasters in the 1980s. This figure has risen to an annual average of $35 billion in the 2010s, the same Triple-I analysis found.

American insurers have paid $67 billion in 2020 due to natural disasters. Insured losses appeared in part as the result of 13 hurricanesfive of six the biggest fires in California the storyand a derecho that caused major damage in Iowa.

Considering the millions of Americans living in danger, the Triple-I launched its Resilience Accelerator initiative to help people and communities better manage risk and become more resilient, Kevelighan said. The goal of the Triple-I Resilience Accelerator is to demonstrate the power of insurance as a force for resilience by telling how insurance coverage helps governments, businesses and individuals recover faster and more fully after natural disasters.

“The insurance industry’s focus on resilience is starting to pay off as more Americans recognize the very real risks their homes face from floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters,” Kevelighan continued.

A Triple-I Consumer Survey released in September 2020 found that 42% of homeowners had made improvements to protect their home from flooding and 39% had done the same to protect their home from hurricanes.

SOURCE Insurance Information Institute

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Teresa H. Sadler