Most of the insurers continue to support projects to increase oil and gas production, even though climate scientists and experts agree that this is incompatible with the 1.5°C Paris climate target.
The seventh annual scorecard on insurers’ climate policies published by The Insure Our Future campaign in October 2023 said that the growing frequency and severity of floods, hurricanes, wildfires, droughts and other climate-related disasters has seen insurance payouts for natural catastrophes soar to an average $110bn a year since 2017, more than twice the average over the previous five years. The fossil fuel insurance earned the industry around $21.25bn in 2022 according to research commissioned for the report from market intelligence company Insuramore. Insurers on the Lloyd’s of London market collectively are the world’s biggest fossil fuel underwriters with an estimated $1.6bn-$2.2bn in annual premiums. The top ten individual insurers include AEGIS, Chubb, Allianz, AXA, Fairfax Financial, Zurich, W. R. Berkley and AIG.
Insure Our Future campaign global coordinator Peter Bosshard said, “The insurance industry first warned about climate risks in 1973 and these have now become a grim reality, particularly for low-income countries and communities which have contributed least to the climate emergency.
Mr. Bosshard said, “Insurance companies are now abandoning customers affected by climate risks, yet they continue to fuel the climate crisis by underwriting and investing in the expansion of fossil fuels. If insurance companies took climate science seriously, they would fully align their underwriting and investment strategies with a credible 1.5°C pathway and end all support for increased fossil fuel production.”