The insurance commissioners for New York, California, and Washington state have announced that they will now be requiring insurers to disclose a climate change response plan that will outline the way in which they plan to respond to the changing risks that customers and businesses face as wildfires, severe storms, and rising sea levels become more common.
Until now, those three states have asked only about a third of the larger insurance companies to provide information in the form of responses to a survey, but for all other insurers, it was a voluntary act.
According to the California insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, the experience of his and other states as regulators is that if a response is required, then the response rate will be much higher than it would be if the decision to respond is left to the company, including whether or not they will provide the information as well as in what format and at what time.
Jones explained that “Our goal is to have the most complete, best and accurate information possible for investors, the insurance industry, regulators and the broader public.”
The California economy is the ninth largest in the world, and, as such, has required it to be a leader in driving the industry toward forward-thinking methods as opposed to always looking to the past. A major part of this effort is to have the industry anticipate and respond to the way in which climate change will be altering liability. The new regulations within the state will concentrate on the role of the industry in the response of the entire country to climate change.
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