Insurers Increasingly Withdraw From Fossil Fuel Projects: Climate Activists’ Report

Link: https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2022/10/20/691030.htm?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Excerpt:

Insurance companies that have long said they’ll cover anything, at the right price, are increasingly ruling out fossil fuel projects because of climate change – to cheers from environmental campaigners.

More than a dozen groups that track what policies insurers have on high-emissions activities say the industry is turning its back on oil, gas and coal.

The alliance, Insure Our Future, said Wednesday that 62% of reinsurance companies – which help other insurers spread their risks – have plans to stop covering coal projects, while 38% are now excluding some oil and natural gas projects. (The Insure Our Future report on re/insurers’ fossil fuel activities can be viewed here).

In part, investors are demanding it. But insurers have also begun to make the link between fossil fuel infrastructure, such as mines and pipelines, and the impact that greenhouse gas emissions are having on other parts of their business.

Publication Date: 20 Oct 2022

Publication Site: Insurance Journal

Federal Insurance Office: A Study in Evasiveness

Link: https://www.insurancejournal.com/blogs/2022/09/12/684696.htm

Excerpt:

A September 8 U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on current issues in insurance included useful discussion on some of the industry’s most pressing concerns. Comments from the committee’s members and from one witness, Maryland Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Birrane, shed light on insurance for cyber and pandemic events; the impact of private equity firms acquiring pension obligations from life insurers (pension risk transfer); and pressures on the United States to conform to global regulatory regimes, which impact U.S. insurer capital standards. The hearing also featured profound evasiveness from the other witness, Federal Insurance Office (FIO) Director Steven Seitz.

….. sparks began to fly when Sen. Toomey asked Seitz questions which went unanswered, or drew bureaucratic doublespeak responses. A heated exchange between Sen. Toomey and Seitz, in which Sen. Toomey grew visibly irritated, demonstrated Seitz’ frustrating equivocation in explaining FIO’s relationship to the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). An excerpt from the exchange below gives a flavor of the tone:

Sen. Toomey: Are you involved in an effort to make recommendations to the IAIS regarding private equity’s involvement in insurance?

Seitz: Umm. As part of our work at the IAIS, we’re closely coordinating the NAIC with the Federal Reserve and the states on a variety of issues, including work relating to the capital standards and the holistic framework which the NAIC is adopting.

Sen. Toomey: You didn’t answer my question. Are you personally involved in research or development of a memo, or an analysis that will include policy recommendations to the IAIS regarding private equity in insurance?

Seitz: You know, our teams are working closely with the NAIC and the states. You know, I am a member of the executive committee, and there are a variety of topics that the IAIS is discussing. And one of those topics at upcoming meetings that we will be discussing is private equity.

Sen. Toomey: You’re obviously trying to evade my question. I don’t know why it’s such a difficult question to answer…

Author(s): Jerry Theodorou

Publication Date: 12 Sept 2022

Publication Site: Insurance Journal

Citations for Driving 100 Mph-Plus Climbing in Nevada

Link:https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2022/02/07/652352.htm

Excerpt:

The number of drivers ticketed in Nevada for putting the pedal to the metal in violation of speed limits continues to climb.

Nevada Office of Traffic Safety data indicates over 5,100 citations were issued in 2021 to drivers going over 100 mph, up from over 3,500 in 2019 and over 4,400 in 2020, local news outlets reported.

“I would say there are definitely hundreds, if not thousands, of more citations of this type (that) would be given out if we are fully staffed,” said trooper Matthew Kaplan, president of the Nevada Police Union. “The ability to be out there enforcing is severely handicapped right now.”

Author(s): Associated Press

Publication Date: 7 Feb 2022

Publication Site: Insurance Journal

Insurance Companies – Heels or Heroes?

Link:https://www.rstreet.org/2022/01/24/insurance-companies-heels-or-heroes/

Excerpt:

The insurance industry is far from the economy’s most-admired sector. A Forbes survey found insurance ranking low in popularity in the public eye. Three main reasons are responsible for insurers’ relatively poor rating. First is the intangible nature of the insurance product. Unlike a car one can drive home from the dealership, or a chocolate bar whose taste can be savored, purchase of an insurance policy does not lead to immediate physical gratification. To be sure, if there is no loss, one may never get a flavor of its value. Second, insurance is associated with life’s tragedies, its most physically, emotionally and financially distressing experiences—a home damaged by a storm, a car totaled, being sued, a death or dread disease, or a crippling workplace accident. Insurance payments can take away the sting with financial recovery, but loss remains painful, especially if one discovers the loss is not 100 percent covered. And third, the insurance industry has become an easy target for critics who regularly vilify it.

…..

Why do we maintain that insurance, R Street’s inaugural research program, is fundamentally exciting? Three reasons.

First, insurance is the economy’s financial first responder. When the wind blows, the earth shakes and large-class action lawsuits are decided in plaintiffs’ favor, the insurance industry pays. 

….

Second, insurers are significant investors in the capital markets. They provide much of the financial muscle to power the economy. Property-casualty insurers hold $1.1 trillion in bonds, and life and health insurers hold another $3.6 trillion. Collectively, insurers hold $4.7 trillion in bonds, 10 percent of the U.S. bond market of $47 trillion.

….

Third, insurance is the grease in the engine of the economy. Without clinical trials insurance, pharmaceutical companies would not take the risk of developing vaccines. Without ocean marine or inland marine insurance, ships would not sail and trucks would not take the risk to carry loads. Airplanes would not fly, people would be afraid to drive, and inventors would not create new products for fear of lawsuits. 

Author(s): Jerry Theodorou

Publication Date: 22 Jan 2022

Publication Site: R Street

Three States, D.C. Sue Google Claiming Location Tracking Violates Users’ Privacy

Link:https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2022/01/25/650651.htm

Excerpt:

Texas, Indiana, Washington State and the District of Columbia sued Alphabet Inc.’s Google on Monday over what they called deceptive location-tracking practices that invade users’ privacy.

“Google falsely led consumers to believe that changing their account and device settings would allow customers to protect their privacy and control what personal data the company could access,” Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine’s office said in a statement.

Yet Google “continues to systematically surveil customers and profit from customer data,” the statement said, calling the practice “a clear violation of consumers’ privacy.”

Author(s): David Shepardson and Doina Chiacu

Publication Date: 25 Jan 2022

Publication Site: Insurance Journal

Deaths in Vehicle Crashes Up 38% in South Dakota in 2020

Link: https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/midwest/2021/04/16/610222.htm

Excerpt:

The number of traffic crash fatalities in South Dakota rose to 141 last year — an increase of 38% over the previous year.

The South Dakota Department of Public Safety said in 2020, there were 132 crashes in which the fatalities occurred.

In 2019, 102 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes, the lowest in state history since records have been kept beginning in 1947. The number of fatal crashes in 2019 was 88, also a record low.

Publication Date: 16 April 2021

Publication Site: Insurance Journal