The former US Secretary of State said that it’s time for countries to “rethink” the coverage sector.
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at a COP28 climate panel at the start of this month, calling for insurance industry reforms.
The purpose is to address the sector’s issues as insurers increasingly withdraw protection against climate perils.
Among the countries and people most impacted by climate change are those in lower-income nations. They also face the greatest struggle to access coverage to protect themselves against economic effects.
“We need to rethink the insurance industry,” said Hillary Clinton during a women and climate resiliency panel. “Insurance companies are pulling out of so many places. They’re not insuring homes. They’re not insuring businesses.”
Earlier in 2023, Clinton became global ambassador on heat, health and gender for the Arsht-Rock Foundation Center. That center has been at the forefront of establishing new forms of parametric coverage, offering payments when a pre-set extreme is reached in a disaster.
Clinton pointed to changes in the insurance industry to support those hardest hit by climate change.
During the panel last Sunday, Clinton described her interaction with women in India who described the conditions in which they worked in farming, construction, or desert salt flats. She said that they were required to work in “almost unbearable conditions” due to the lack of economic alternatives.
That said, “as the climate changes, as storms increase and drought and heat increase,” Clinton explained, “it’s not just … poor, hard-working women in India. It’s people everywhere who are going to be left out with no backup, no insurance for their business or their home.”
In the United States, California and Florida’s markets have both experienced the withdrawal of companies in the insurance industry because many regions within those states are considered to be too risky. For instance, the forests in California increasingly plagued by wildfires, and the coastlines in Florida facing more frequent and severe hurricanes.
Clinton underscored that this situation will only worsen. “People in the United States, Europe, they’re going to wake up and say, ‘What do you mean, I can’t get insurance?’.”