Insurance companies are supposed to protect us from catastrophic risks. Yet when it comes to the largest threat to humanity – climate change – insurers are perpetuating dependence on fossil fuels by insuring new coal, oil and gas projects. Incredibly, at the same time they are pouring gasoline onto the fire of climate chaos, they are denying coverage for individuals living in climate-risk areas.
Over the last year and a half, RAN has worked with partner organizations within the Insure Our Future Coalition to expose the hypocrisy rampant among insurers. Our work has resulted in some targeted insurance companies adopting new, more rigorous policies and greater scrutiny of the insurance sector as a whole.
March and November 2022: RAN organized two high profile protests against Chubb, one of the largest North American insurers and a major laggard in adopting more responsible policies.
November 2022: The Insure Our Future Coalition published its sixth annual scorecard of the sector. The report showed there was industry-wide movement away from insuring coal — but little movement away from oil and gas.
March 2023: After consistent pressure, Chubb became the first insurer to limit insuring oil and gas. The Wall Street Journal covered the new policy highlighting the RAN-sponsored actions against the company. However, while the policy represented a major step forward, it did not go far enough.
May 2023: In the lead up to Chubb’s Annual General Meeting, RAN projected demands onto massive gas tanks in North Brooklyn — pushing the company to end insuring oil and gas completely.
June 2023: In an open letter, on the one year anniversary of an LNG terminal explosion in Freeport, TX, RAN demanded the world’s largest insurers stop insuring methane gas export terminals and meet with the community members affected by these projects. Signed by over 140 groups and covered by Politico, the letter highlighted fossil fuel expansion projects that continue to be insured while individuals living in affected areas saw protections restricted.
In the same month, the U.S. Senate announced a first of its kind investigation into the largest insurance companies and their disregard for climate impacts. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said, “By underwriting and investing in new and expanded fossil fuel projects, U.S. insurers are helping big oil bring us closer to the worst runaway climate scenarios, which threaten lives, livelihoods, and the federal budget. [This] is especially relevant as some of these companies begin to pull out of certain markets because they see the coming catastrophic climate risks — despite continuing to provide services to the fossil fuel industry.”
August 2023: The Gwich’in Steering Committee published their insurance industry scorecard, reporting that 20 insurers created new policies ruling out insuring projects in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.
September 2023: Insure Our Future coalition member Public Citizen reported that insurers continue to underwrite coal, in violation of their own policies. Their report received global media coverage in Bloomberg, The Guardian, and MSN.
September 2023: RAN and partner Better Brazoria rallied at Chubb offices to deliver a letter signed by over 22,000 supporters calling on the insurer to drop Freeport LNG.
October 2023: RAN held a rally to demand real climate leadership at the annual Insurance Leadership Forum in Colorado Springs, CO. Local homeowners who are struggling to find and afford home insurance that will cover their homes thanks to increased risk due to climate impacts — like fires and flooding — showed up to the rally in force. Then our team infiltrated the Leadership Forum and brought the message directly to top executives — explaining the disastrous impacts of LNG and methane gas.