Farmers has now filed nine different suits against local Chicago area governments.
The latest insurance news is now showing that in April, Farmers Insurance Co. had filed nine separate class action lawsuits regarding the impact of climate change within the Chicago area.
These lawsuits have been filed against local governments within the area of that city.
The argument being made by Farmers in this insurance news is that those local Chicago area governments were perfectly aware of the impact of climate change and that it is bringing heavier rainfalls to the region, but that they are not taking adequate steps to prepare for the potential damage that the increased precipitation can bring. The class action lawsuits indicate that the local governments didn’t do enough to be certain that their storm drains and sewers were ready for the downpour that occurred over two days, last April.
This developing insurance news could lead to a case that determines who pays for the costs of climate change.
The nine suits are filed against almost 200 communities in the Chicago area. They are seeking to place the responsibility for preparation for the impact of climate change onto the municipalities. Should they be successful, it could greatly change the way that climate change is viewed by governments and insurers and could completely rethink the way that designing and engineering occurs for cities, perhaps leading them to take a more forward-looking tack.
The lawsuits filed by Farmers are seeking reimbursement for the claims that the insurer was forced to pay to homeowners who had sewage water come up into their basements, ruining their floors, walls, and possessions. That insurer was also required to cover costs for some owners who were required to evacuate, who lost income, and whose property values declined due to the damages.
Many feel that the insurance news of these lawsuits isn’t just a matter of reimbursement for past payments, but that it also has a longer term plan in mind. It could be an attempt to establish precedence for avoiding future losses across the country when they are linked to the impact of climate change.