Demonstrators Push Insurance Industry on Climate Change at First NAIC Meeting Since Chubb Released Coal Policy

For Immediate Release

Demonstrators Push Insurance Industry on Climate Change at First NAIC Meeting Since Chubb Released its Coal Policy

New York City, NY - Today, at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) meeting demonstrators called on the U.S. insurance industry to act on climate change by cutting ties with fossil fuels. This was the first NAIC meeting since Chubb became the first U.S. insurer to release a coal policy severely limiting its involvement with the coal industry. 

“Chubb has taken the first step for the U.S. industry but there is much further to go to address insurers’ role in climate change,” said Elana Sulakshana, Energy Finance Campaigner at Rainforest Action Network. “Right now companies like Liberty Mutual are investing billions in fossil fuels and providing financial protection that allows fossil fuel projects like coal mines and tar sand operations to continue. Meanwhile, these same companies are driving up insurance prices, and even denying coverage, to people in climate-impacted areas.”

Meeting attendees were greeted by demonstrators dressed as insurance company mascots handing out fliers which called on insurers to stop insuring coal and tar sands projects and companies, divest from coal and tar sands companies, and scale up investments and insurance for clean energy. Speakers, including Dina Pugliesi, a local Greenpeace activist, spoke to the crowd gathered outside the meeting.

Mary Sweeters, Campaigner for Insure Our Future, said: “Insurance companies understand risk better than anyone, and they’ve understood the risks of climate change for decades. It’s time for Liberty Mutual, AIG, and the rest of the U.S. industry to become part of the solution. Ditching fossil fuels is not just a moral decision, it’s a financial one. Insurers are already paying for the damages caused by climate change and that will only get worse if they continue to invest in and insure fossil fuel. But most insurance companies only get a small percent of their profits from dirty energy industries so walking away is clearly the right choice.”

The demonstrators represented a variety of environmental and community groups including Mothers Out Front, Divest Invest, Greenpeace, New York Communities for Change, and 350 NYC.

"As a mom I have an important job, to fight for a clean future for my children. As an engineer who started my career in the tar sands in Canada, I know the impact that fossil fuels are having on our planet. Insurance companies that write insurance policies for coal, oil, and gas projects are as culpable for damages as the dirtiest fossil fuel companies," said Emily Manns BSc (Chem Eng) MBA, with Mothers Out Front. "I stand with thousands of moms who are engineers, lawyers, scientists, doctors, organizers, teachers, and veterans, all practical, smart, and motivated moms defending our children’s future. We know that when insurers stop insuring, permits stop and investors go elsewhere. It's time for U.S. insurers to wake up to their financial and moral exposure to the climate crisis, and stop working with the dirtiest utilities and fossil fuel companies to become part of the solution."     

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Myriam Fallon - myriam@sunriseproject.net - 708.546.9001