October 20, 2016

Survey: CT insurers leaders in addressing climate change

Submitted photo
Submitted photo
The Hartford's headquarters.

The Hartford, Lincoln National and seven other insurers with operations in Connecticut earned high-quality ratings for efforts to address climate change, according to a survey analyzed by Ceres, a Boston-based nonprofit that promotes sustainability.

According to the Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey Report & Scorecard, those two insurers, plus Travelers, AIG, Munich Re, Xl, MetLife, Chubb and Prudential all earned the high-quality ratings, Ceres said. Some of these companies are based here while others have a significant presence in the state.

Chubb and Travelers were among the most improved, going from low-quality and medium quality, respectively, to high-quality ratings.

Analyzing survey results of 148 insurance companies representing 71 percent of the U.S. market, the report evaluates the quality and comprehensiveness of climate risk disclosures by insurance companies. The firms responded to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Climate Risk Disclosure Survey.

The survey results for this mix of property and casualty and life and annuity insurers are especially notable considering only 22 firms in the U.S. achieved the high-quality rating, survey authors said. In fact, Ceres found "most of the 148 insurers evaluated continue to show an overall lack of focus in addressing climate risks."

Survey questions focus on five areas: governance structures available to address climate risk; climate risk management programs; use of catastrophe or other computer modeling tools and techniques to manage climate risks; engagement with stakeholders on climate risk; and measurement and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Key recommendations for further improvement include elevating leadership at the board and C-suite levels and considering carbon asset risk in investment portfolios.

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