Dozens of activists showed up in Colorado Springs to demand major insurance executives insure our future, not fossil fuels

By Zabrina Arnovitz

On October 1st, dozens of Colorado residents gathered outside the Insurance Leadership Forum in Colorado Springs. While execs from the world’s worst fossil fuel insurers, like Liberty Mutual, Chubb, Hartford, and Travelers, were sipping cocktails and playing golf at a luxury resort, Colorado residents are struggling to find and pay for home insurance due to fires and post-fire flooding.

These insurance execs don’t get to celebrate being so-called “leaders” when their leadership is costing us all. That’s why Coloradans joined together to call out their irony.

Seven activits gathered outside the Insurance Leadership Forum holding a banner that reads "Wildfires brought to you by: Chubb, Liberty, Mutual, Travelers" that depicts trees on fire. Some people are holding smaller signs that include: "people over profit" "insure our future, not methane gas" and "liberty mutual insures methane"
Wildfires banner artwork by Gregg Deal | Photo by Christian O’Rourke

2-4-6-8 Stop the gas; it’s not too late

Insurance industry employees couldn’t ignore us as they passed through the resort. From signs to chants to one-on-one conversations and handing out flyers detailing how insuring fossil fuels affects millions, attendees couldn’t avoid our shared calls for change.

shows a view behind a group of protestors outside the Broadmoor Resort. One sign shows over their heads and reads "Stop Insured Destruction"
Photo by Christian O’Rourke

Nearby, Coloradans across the state have been dealing firsthand with the ever-increasing impacts of fossil-fuel-driven climate disasters like wildfires and flooding, as well as rising insurance costs and even complete loss of coverage. I myself have evacuated my home twice in recent years from nearby fires.

This event was a unique opportunity for impacted folks to get right in front of the companies harming them, as it was happening right in their backyard. It was a powerful collaboration; Jenna Machengo began the action with a land acknowledgment, Ean (WindDancer) Tafoya of GreenLatinos emceed, and local speakers shared the experiences of wildfires, insurance, and Indigenous land rights violations at the hand of these insurers and the fossil fuel industry. Everything closed out with a brass band — which even the resort employees enjoyed!

Brass band plays outside alongside the protest, in front of a banner that reads STOP INSURING FOSSIL FUELS
Photo by Christian O’Rourke

Oops… did we disrupt your little meeting?

And it didn’t end there. The next day, a small yet powerful group clandestinely entered and disrupted a Hartford-sponsored conference session, calling out the insurance industry on their despicable investments and hypocrisy. Check out the amazing moment for yourself in the video below!

These execs don’t get to laugh and say they “don’t care” when they’re destroying our climate and communities. This escalated action was the first of its kind for the insurance campaign, getting our messages directly in front of our targets — including Mr. “I really don’t care” himself, Oswald Companies CEO Bob Klonk.

See you next year, Bob!

This is just the beginning. This escalation of actions was beyond successful and, most importantly, involved special relationship-building with Colorado Springs activists. And guess what? We’ll be back next year! As long as these insurers try to continue with business as usual that’s harming us all, we’ll be there fighting back for people and planet.

Check out our feature on Democracy Now below and take action against these companies by calling them out on social media demanding they #InsureOurFuture, not polluters!