NAMIC Latest to Promote End to Global Warming
Insurance Networking News
Published January 18, 2007
Indianapolis - In the latest move by the insurance industry
to participate in reducing the effects of global warming,
the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies
(NAMIC) unveiled a new Web site this week: www.climateandinsurance.org.
The site is designed to help address the increasing concerns
about climate change and its impact on the property/casualty
"There has been considerable discussion of climate
change and the insurance industry taking place within
state, federal and international policy venues. Increasingly,
climate change is discussed in the context of public policy
in the areas of flood and other natural disaster insurance,
emergency preparedness and response, and reinsurance,
among others," explained Chuck Chamness, president
and CEO of the Indianapolis-based organization.
Chamness said the site will not advocate a position on
the scientific controversy of the causes of the increase
in natural disasters around the world.
"Instead, it contains information and leading thought
about how climate change impacts the insurance industry,
and what insurers and reinsurers in the U. S. and Europe
are doing with this issue," Chamness added.
David Reddick, NAMIC's associate director of public policy
and editor of the Web site, said podcasts, blogs, videocasts
and other interactive features will be added to the site,
depending on the needs of its users.
Reddick said the site will also report on the status of
the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
Climate Change and Global Warming (EX) Task Force and
other regulatory or legislative efforts.
NAIC has long been active in promoting education for natural
catastrophe and associated risk management.
"As public policy begins to develop more fully on
climate change, the industry's response will be a key
feature of the site," Reddick said. "We're anxious
to get feedback to help us make this a significant resource
for those in the industry as well as other interested
and involved parties, including other information sources,
policymakers, the media and consumers."
Insurance Networking News (INN) further reported on the
industry's response in August 2006, citing several carriers
that are stepping up their efforts to more fully engage
the global warming topic.
For example, Firemen's Fund Insurance is launching a first-of-its-kind
'green' coverage, including rate credits and other incentives,
for commercial building owners who re-build damaged properties
using green and LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) building practices. California-based
Firemen's Fund will begin seeking state regulatory approvals
this month so that the products can be offered in states
around the country this fall.
Marsh, the world's largest insurance broker, and AIG,
the world's largest insurer, launched carbon emissions
credit guarantees and other new renewable energy-related
insurance products that are allowing more companies to
participate in carbon offset projects and growing carbon
emissions trading markets. The carbon trading market in
the European Union alone is expected to hit $30 billion
by the end of 2006.
And Japanese insurer, Tokio Marine & Nichido Life,
reforested more than 7,500 acres of mangroves in Indonesia,
Thailand and several other countries to minimize losses
from rising cyclone-related risks.
Yet for all the industry's efforts, it must do even more
to address the growing impact of climate change-induced
damages, according to a new report by World Wildlife Fund
(WWF) and Munich-based global insurer Allianz Group. In
October 2006 INN described a report, Climate Change and
Insurance: An Agenda for Action in the United States,
which examined the latest scientific findings about climate
change, including the impacts of forest fires, storms
and floods, and the potential impact on the insurance
industry and its customers.
According to the report, climate change has the potential
to significantly alter and intensify destructive weather
patterns in the United States, leading to increased flooding,
forest fires and storm damage. The most direct risk to
the U.S. will likely come from hurricanes, which are expected
to become more frequent and powerful.
Additionally, rising sea levels over the coming decades
could inundate many US coastal cities and portions of
some coastal states. Forest fires could become even more
frequent and larger. These changes could make insurance
unaffordable for customers in high-risk areas. In fact,
insurance premiums in states vulnerable to hurricanes
are already increasing, and in some cases, insurers are
exiting these markets altogether.
Allianz and Washington-based WWF intend to engage the
insurance industry, governments, regulators and others
to better manage the risks associated with climate change,
said the organizations.
Sources: NAMIC, Insurance Networking News Archives