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AbruptSLR

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Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« on: May 20, 2014, 01:10:19 AM »
While insurance companies primarily look after their own profit, in so doing they are now changing their policies to account for forward looking non-stationary climate change models; which may force other policy makers to similarly face the consequences of climate change.  The following link leads to a Climate Progress article on just this topic:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/19/3439048/insurance-climate-class-action-flood/
« Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 04:17:38 PM by AbruptSLR »
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Insurance Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2014, 01:27:17 AM »
The following link leads for a Forbes article indicating the insurance industry interests are now widening from those of the fossil fuel industry.  Possibly insurance industry lobbyists, will be more effective at getting lawyer makers to pass climate change legislation, than activists and scientists: 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2014/05/18/rift-widening-between-energy-and-insurance-industries-over-climate-change/

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AbruptSLR

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Re: Insurance Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2014, 01:31:13 AM »
The following link leads to an article indicating that there were $45Billion in insurance losses related to climate change in 2013.  Imagine how many lobbyists the insurance industry could hire, to get legislation passed to slow climate change and to promote adaption, for this kind of money:

http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/2014/03/26/disasters-led-b-insurance-losses/6907491/
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Insurance Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2014, 01:34:55 AM »
The following article by Munich Re discusses the fact that climate change related insurance losses in 2012 where dominated by claims filed in the United States.  Soon such losses will for conservative legislators to accept the climate change reality:

http://www.munichre.com/en/media-relations/publications/press-releases/2013/2013-01-03-press-release/index.html
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Insurance Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2014, 01:39:07 AM »
The following link leads to an article by Standards & Poor indicating that climate change damages may soon change sovereign credit ratings, particularly for countries like the Philippines, that maybe directly in the path of future climate change induced Super Typhoons.  Perhaps this will get enough countries to pressure the IPCC to issue more conservative (from a public safety point-of-view) projections on climate change:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101676531
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sidd

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Re: Insurance Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2014, 01:47:21 AM »
re: sovereign credit ratings

everyone gets it in the neck here, very few major countries without expensive seafront human structure. and very few minor ones.

and the richer ones have more to lose, valuations are higher.

Here is another thought:

Even though you can't really shortsell floodprone infrastructure over say 30 or 40 years, because of lack of trustworthy counterparty on that time range, the insurance companies are in exactly that game

i look forward to watching em screw the coal companies, too

sidd

AbruptSLR

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Re: Insurance Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2014, 01:49:50 AM »
With many of the major cities of the world located on the coast and subject to storm surge damage, the linked The Guardian article discusses how insurance companies will be better modeling climate change to more accurately project future climate change related damages:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/11/insurers-climate-change-lloyds-catastrophe-modelling-hurricane-katrina-superstorm-sandy
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JimD

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Re: Insurance Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2014, 03:17:48 PM »
We have mentioned before that the insurance companies were going to be a big factor in when governments start to change.  And it is not just them.  In the US there is the Federal flood insurance program which was due to have huge rises in premiums due to losses from storms and hurricanes.  Politics intruded and the tax payers are going to have to pick up the losses rather than the property owners - this was really pushed by the states like Florida who stand to lose the most economically.

But the writing is on the wall.  Eventually the insurance companies will just refuse to offer policies in some places and then the property values will plummet.

One reason that the energy companies are going to fight with the insurance companies is that they insure a lot of their infrastructure too and they do not want to pay more either.
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domen_

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2014, 04:29:14 PM »
Food and tourism industry should also fight fossil fuel companies, because they lose profits due to climate change.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2014, 04:30:09 PM »
JimD,

I am sorry that I have not had time to read your other posts about insurance company policies; but thanks for posting your insight here (which I generally, but not always, agree with).  I concur that it was a mistake to gut the Biggert - Waters Act (about the US National Flood Insurance Program), as this will encourage local governments to delay implementing adaptive measures (which as we now know the local government delays may bring future lawsuits from the flood insurance industries).  I agree that at some point in the future (possibly circa 2040- 2050) the climate change related insurance could increase from 10's of billions of dollar per year to 100's of billions per year; at which point many individual insurance policies will not be renewed and owners will be left to other means of controlling their risk exposure.  By 2100 infrastructure damage from inundation related to SLR could be in the 10's of trillions per year if we continue on a BAU path.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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JimD

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2014, 04:54:16 PM »
ASLR

Quote
JimD,

I am sorry that I have not had time to read your other posts about insurance company policies; but thanks for posting your insight here (which I generally, but not always, agree with). 

Sorry.  I did not mean it that way.  I was just trying to reinforce what you were talking about.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

AbruptSLR

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2014, 05:18:09 AM »
It occurs to me that our fossil fuel based global economic system, whether consciously or unconsciously, behaves much like a Ponzi scheme, in that the people who get into the scheme early get most/all of the benefits, while the last people into the scheme (our children, and their descendants) get left holding the bag with regard to climate change.  While the insurance industry can periodically raise their premiums to limit their loses, our descendants will not have that option.  Furthermore, it appears to me that the main reason that the climate change Ponzi scheme is that no one yet knows when the climate change consequences will out-weight the perceived goods of the fossil fuel based economy.

Currently, economists have realized that Ponzi scheme like behavior  arises naturally (whether consciously or unconsciously) in major portions of our free market system (& the failure of some of these schemes lead to the recent financial crisis); and unless governments learn better how to regulate these naturally occurring Ponzis, and especially the climate change Ponzi, then we should expect the fossil fuel industry to continue investing trillions in this scheme, until the house of cards collapses under the weight of accelerating positive feedback mechanisms.
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wili

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2014, 06:05:04 AM »
ASLR wrote: "our fossil fuel based global economic system, whether consciously or unconsciously, behaves much like a Ponzi scheme"

Just figuring that out, huh? It's a mess, ain't it?
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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AbruptSLR

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2014, 07:45:53 PM »
It seems to me that the use of targeted political campaigns (see the link below) against the politicians that support the most Luddite climate change legislation should be a very effective means of collapsing the fossil fuel Ponzi scheme:

http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-pn-steyer-20140521-story.html
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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2014, 10:18:49 PM »
I think that this is the critical battleground in the battle to reduce emissions. Fossil Fuels vs Insurance.

Or, to simplify, as is my wont, Big Oil vs Big Money.

FWIW, I suspect that Big Money will win.

I find it hard to believe that the insurance industry (Big Money) is prepared to continue to cough up increasing amounts of cash to cover the increasing economic damages caused by Big Oil due toclimate changel.

Big Oil has no real reason to worry that they look on course to inundate NYC, etc. That is though, a real worry for the serious Big Money invested in the insurance industry.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2014, 06:15:06 PM »
The following linked OpEd piece in the LA Times has the following tag lines, regarding how a denial stance is becoming more difficult for the insurance industry to maintain given the large losses associated with climate change:

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-linden-insurance-climate-change-20140617-story.html

"If insurance companies are charging for risks due to climate change, how can it be a hoax?"

"What we have in some areas is climate change socialism for the rich."
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AbruptSLR

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Laurent

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2014, 07:09:38 PM »

AbruptSLR

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2014, 07:15:14 PM »
Ceres has recently issued a new (2014) report entitled: " Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey Report & Scorecard: 2014 Findings & Recommendations", that ranks the nation's 330 largest insurance companies on what they are saying and doing to respond to escalating climate risks.  The report can be found at the following link:

https://www.ceres.org/resources/reports/insurer-climate-risk-disclosure-survey-report-scorecard-2014-findings-recommendations/view

The implications of this report were assess by the Insurance Journal that can be found at the following linked website, and the following extracts indicates that generally the insurance industry is poorly prepared to deal with the potential losses associated with climate change.  However, some experts criticize the report, possibly because the critics expect the losses from climate change to occur slowly enough to pass the losses on to the insured public via increased premium rates and cancelled policies.  I either case, while insurance is the largest industry in the world, it will provide little risk management for the vast majority of the public.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2014/10/22/344497.htm

Extract: "A report on the insurance industry released Wednesday shows “a profound lack of preparedness in addressing climate-related risks and opportunities.”
Insurance industry representatives immediately criticized the report as a negative take on the industry’s ability to adapt and not reflective of the commitment many insurers have made to address climate-related risks.
The report from Ceres is based on a survey of 330 insurer disclosures last year in response to a climate risk survey developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The disclosures constitute roughly 87 percent of the U.S. market in direct premiums written, according to the firm.
The report, “Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey Report & Scorecard: 2014 Findings & Recommendations,” ranks property/casualty, health and life and annuity insurers.
The companies were ranked on a four-tier scoring system by grades: “Leading;” “Developing;” “Beginning;” and “Minimal.”
The Ceres report shows 3 percent of companies received the “Leading” ranking. Those were ACE, Munich Re, Swiss Re, Allianz, Prudential, XL Group, The Hartford, Sompo Japan and Zurich. The Hartford and Prudential are the only U.S.-based insurers among the firms with that rank, the report shows.
The vast majority of the insurers earned “Beginning” or “Minimal” rankings. The health and life & annuity insurers surveyed received the lowest “Minimal” ranking, 89 percent and 80 percent respectively, according to the report.
Insurance Information Institute President Robert Hartwig, speaking for the property/casualty industry and reinsurers, took issue with the report.
“I would fundamentally disagree with the premise that the vast majority of insurers are unprepared for the challenges posed by climate change,” Hartwig said.“The property/casualty industry and the reinsurance industry are and have been at the vanguard of managing climate-related risks for decades and in some cases centuries.”"
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sidd

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2014, 04:57:00 AM »
the reinsurers (munich re, swiss re) are best off. rest of them are fat, dumb and happy like the report sez.

Crains Business Insurance journal is a good window, but they haven't yet woken upto the big secondary liability issues...for example the insurance fund exposure to unusable fossil reserves ...

but they have some clever people, waiting to see how long before the penny drops.

sidd

AbruptSLR

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2014, 08:06:46 PM »
sidd,

I fully agree with your point that the insurance companies (& I add the fossil fuel industry) have very well-paid clever people actively working to postpone the day when damages/losses associated with carbon emissions need to be recognized on the books of the insurance (and fossil fuel) companies.  Unfortunately, for all of us, the longer effective action is delayed to fight climate change, the bigger to price tag will be for society as a whole.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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sidd

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2014, 09:41:28 PM »
sorry, i meant that Crain's had some clever people and i was waiting to see how long before they voiced discomfort in their publication.

The cleverest people in fossil fuels have long since fled, headed for greener (pun intended) pastures. I see those that remain are a mixture of evil and incompetent. And some of the cleverest people are joining the vultures, already dismembering the carcasses of the weakest (coal, i'm looking at you.)
I believe i recently posted a list of some bankruptcies in that sector ...

sidd

AbruptSLR

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2014, 07:27:50 PM »
sidd,

It seems that the opinion expressed in the following linked article is relevant to your position that the insurance industry will eventually voice discomfort about the risks of climate change.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bevis-longstreth/homer-describing-big-oil-_b_5909420.html

I hope that you are correct; however, I am still concerned that the public expression of any such voice of discomfort may come too late to prevent a rise in mean global temperature of 4 C by 2050 (and if the world experiences a 4 C rise in temperature, this will trigger so many positive feedback mechanisms that global warming will likely continue even if mankind stops all anthropogenic carbon emissions).

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Laurent

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AbruptSLR

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2014, 04:16:33 PM »
I thought that I would note that some pundits now believe that the U.S. will need to establish a new class of climate change courts by 2030 in order to deal with the expected coming tsunami of climate change related litigation.
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Neven

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2014, 12:18:14 AM »
Who will get sued?
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2014, 12:35:23 AM »
Who will get sued?

The question is who might be successfully sued.

I'm finding it hard to believe that XYZ Coal, Inc. will have to pay damages for someones house damage caused by rising sea levels.  That's just too difficult case to make in US courts.  Seems like you'd have to sue every single individual and company that burned any fossil fuel.  Over the last 100 or so years.

sidd

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2014, 09:00:06 AM »
Re: Who will get sued

Heheheheh:

Farmers Insurance (old, big insurance company outta Ohio, closely associated with Nationwide)

"Cook County and its municipalities should have known to increase the capacity of local storm water sewer systems because of data linking climate change to increased rainfall."

"Illinois Farmers Insurance Co. v. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago District, et al., Case No. 14CH06608, in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois."

The lawsuit was withdrawn. Almost certainly out of court settlement with confidentiality clauses.

They were dipping a toe in the water.

For some background:

Farmers Insurance and Nationwide are joined at the hip and to the Farm Bureau going back to 1920 or so. Nationwide cut 80k policies in Florida half a decade ago. I happen to have a barn or two and a few structures covered by one of em, and a sporadic membership in the Farm Bureau. And for my sins I sometimes drink immoderately and shoot pool (what can i say, ohio boys) with some senior staff at one of em. This is what they tell me (paraphrased slitely)

"Farmers is filled with old gnomes that look like Yoda. They have great influence at board level at Nationwide, and mostly kept Nationwide outta the last Big Dump. Both organizations  know whats coming and see claims ramping up. They got smart cornfed midwestern statisticians correlating precip and severe weather increases with the best of them. They don't trust reinsurance. They are gonna leave a buncha policyholders high and dry over the next decade as they rewrite renewals. They are looking at lawsuits to ease some of the pain. That lawsuit was the first big one. There will be more."

Then he drank another shot and lost to me at pool. So take it for what it's worth.

sidd

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2014, 04:04:31 PM »
I love this thread.

If you want to determine where the current state of understanding is with regards to global warming, you need to follow the behavior of businesses with regards to this issue. Businesses are in the business of remaining in business. If you track and work to understand business decisions (distinct industries actually) it becomes clear that there is a growing consensus that AGW is real and the effects are now and growing rapidly.

The fossil fuel industry is fighting the idea of AGW, not because it believes AGW is bad science but because continued burning of fossil fuels is the only thing that will save their industry. The insurance industry will be aggressively dropping policies and raising premiums in order to insure  their continued survival. Given the absolute ascendance in the western world of "free market" ideas and the virtue of pursuing profit, no actions in court will alter the fact that businesses will be allowed to pursue profits regardless of the impact on entire regions of the world that suffer the effects of AGW. In 30 years, no one in low lying regions of coastal Florida will be able to get flood insurance. The effect on the south Florida economy will be devastating as private investment simply vanishes.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2014, 04:45:32 PM »
Who will get sued?

Neven,

In the USA one needs to have both standing and evidence of negligence in civil cases.  So in addition to the insurance companies suing local governments who should have taken measures to safeguard their constituents (see sidd's post), other examples include the youth suing the US Federal Government

See the following links to such lawsuits by the Children's Trust and by Hansen

http://www.ourchildrenstrust.org/us/federal-lawsuit

http://www.westernlaw.org/our-work/climate-energy/clean-energy/assisting-nasa-climate-scientist-dr-james-hansen-federal-climat

Another example is stockholders suing individual fossil fuel companies for climate change policy obstruction (and/or negligence) regarding proven warning of climate change and the need to keep carbon in the ground.

See the following link:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-29/ngos-warn-energy-cement-companies-of-liability-over-climate-advocacy.html

Best,
ASLR

(Please note that I disagree with Bob Wallace's logic, as in his post he constructs what appears to me to be a ridiculous Straw-man; and then he points at it and says how ridiculous it is.  What does that prove expect that he never should have constructed the ridiculous Straw-man to start with)
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2014, 08:04:49 PM »
I gave you my opinion that it would be essentially impossible to sue a coal mine or power plant for climate change.  I hardly see how that's building a straw man.

There may be cases where a municipality or corporation was warned that they needed to take protective action against climate change, failed to do so, and some one suffered a loss.  That would also be a tough case to win as the defendant could bring in tons of witnesses to testify about how "uncertain" climate science was at the time.

Neven

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2014, 10:49:52 PM »
It took a very long time, but in the end tobacco companies were successfully sued.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2014, 11:29:38 PM »
It took a very long time, but in the end tobacco companies were successfully sued.

IIRC, those were cases in which the plaintiff smoked a particular brand over extended years and that company had engaged in patterns of active denial.

I'm not saying that it will be impossible to successfully sue someone for climate change, but I have a very hard time figuring who you'd finger for global climate change. 

sidd

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2014, 12:23:28 AM »
Here's some lawsuits coming:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2014/12/22/miamis-climate-catch-22-building-luxury-condos-to-pay-for-protection-against-the-rising-sea/

"due diligence"
"known or should have known"
"fiduciary responsibility"

sidd

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2014, 12:25:46 AM »
It took a very long time, but in the end tobacco companies were successfully sued.

IIRC, those were cases in which the plaintiff smoked a particular brand over extended years and that company had engaged in patterns of active denial.

I'm not saying that it will be impossible to successfully sue someone for climate change, but I have a very hard time figuring who you'd finger for global climate change.

Sure, but maybe some people have been more responsible than others because of their active efforts to mislead the public and delay mitigation policies.

But of course, that's not the same as government on various levels neglecting to incorporate the science and associated risk management into their planning policies.
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2014, 01:00:13 AM »
Sea levels are up.

Your house foundation is damaged.

Do you sue Peabody Coal, EXXON, your brother-in-law for heating his house with natural gas, a village full of people in India who light their houses with kerosene?

Do  you name every single person and company that has used some fossil fuel at some time?  No court will take that case.  It would be like suing the world because the price of eggs are too high for you to make an omelette.


Neven

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2014, 01:10:41 AM »
Do you sue Peabody Coal, EXXON, your brother-in-law for heating his house with natural gas, a village full of people in India who light their houses with kerosene?

I won't, but if I could, I would be suing Peabody Coal and Exxon for paying Patrick Michaels and Fred Singer to lie to everyone. Just like the tobacco companies have done for decades to protect their profits.

You know what I mean, right?
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sidd

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2014, 01:35:10 AM »
In the case of the Miami condos, when the ocean comes visiting, owners singly and condo association jointly has a case against the builders, and financing banks, and the city of Miami ... and so do their insurers ... which will be the state and fed since no private insurance company will take these bets.

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AbruptSLR

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2014, 01:39:00 AM »
Do you sue Peabody Coal, EXXON, your brother-in-law for heating his house with natural gas, a village full of people in India who light their houses with kerosene?

I won't, but if I could, I would be suing Peabody Coal and Exxon for paying Patrick Michaels and Fred Singer to lie to everyone. Just like the tobacco companies have done for decades to protect their profits.

You know what I mean, right?

I have talked to flood protection officials (government employees) who have told me that they dispute climate change, because if they accept the SLR & storm surge projections then they would need to accept responsibility for doing something about the associated risk to the local residents.  As soon as a civil lawyer can prove reasonable doubt (not proof) that such officials and/or oil & gas companies are being negligent then the floodgates for lawsuits will open, once damage can be demonstrated.  See the following links for examples of such lawsuits in Louisiana:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/02/magazine/mag-oil-lawsuit.html?_r=0

http://thelensnola.org/2014/10/28/state-sues-army-corps-over-more-than-1-billion-in-mr-go-restoration-costs/

http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/southcentral/2014/11/12/257589.htm
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sidd

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2014, 01:49:28 AM »
Re: lawsuits against coal companies


1)Reckless endangerment: Coal and oil company actions rise to the level of reckless endangerment, that of the indian peasant does not. Besides, the indian peasant cannot make restitution at all, whereas Peabody Coal (after bankruptcy) will have some small monies available ... and the financing banks are on the hook too. Go where the money is.

2)USA is not the only jurisdiction where the big boys do biz. And they haven't bought out every country or jurisdiction as completely as the USA. They will eventually be sued everywhere, but watch out for language sneaked into climate deals granting amnesty to climate criminals. That last bit should happen shortly, I watch climate negotiations keenly as well as things like the trans pacific agreement (also known as acceptance of MNC suzerainity over elected governments) for signs. I think the leaked TPP draft had some feelers in that direction.

sidd

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2014, 01:54:47 AM »
Civil officials are doing things. Flood plain boundaries are being redrawn, loud squawks notwithstanding.  The insurance companies have their own maps and are redrawing also.

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #42 on: December 31, 2014, 03:12:12 AM »
Do you sue Peabody Coal, EXXON, your brother-in-law for heating his house with natural gas, a village full of people in India who light their houses with kerosene?

I won't, but if I could, I would be suing Peabody Coal and Exxon for paying Patrick Michaels and Fred Singer to lie to everyone. Just like the tobacco companies have done for decades to protect their profits.

You know what I mean, right?

I can understand being angry.  (I'm there.)

But you can't get a cash judgement because someone made you angry.

jai mitchell

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #43 on: December 31, 2014, 04:39:01 AM »
Do you sue Peabody Coal, EXXON, your brother-in-law for heating his house with natural gas, a village full of people in India who light their houses with kerosene?

I won't, but if I could, I would be suing Peabody Coal and Exxon for paying Patrick Michaels and Fred Singer to lie to everyone. Just like the tobacco companies have done for decades to protect their profits.

You know what I mean, right?

I can understand being angry.  (I'm there.)

But you can't get a cash judgement because someone made you angry.

Do you think that these psychopaths are so disassociated from reality that they do not realize that they are lying?
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #44 on: December 31, 2014, 05:13:47 AM »
I run into all sorts of deniers. 

The most common are stupid people.  Fox and Rush told them that climate change was natural or good for us or something and that's as deep as their thinking goes. 

Then there are some who are reasonably bright but seem to be so allied with a right wing philosophy so that they are forced to deny.  When I interact with them I get the feeling that they know, or at least strongly suspect, that they are wrong.  But they maintain their denial by refusing to read the science, and using some sort of a talking point about hockey sticks or emails or whatever to excuse themselves from looking at the facts.  There seem to be a lot of engineers in this group.  (Nothing to do with you, Jai.  Just something I've seen several times.)

It's kind of a game with this group.  They put a lot of effort into finding one item (often inappropriately cherry-picked) and attempt to argue that all climate science is flawed based on that small point.  It's like they don't understand empiricism but think science is a debate process.

I'm pretty certain that some are just whores.  They know exactly what is happening but they are all about the money.  It makes them no different from a dealer who knows that they are selling stuff that is going to kill some of their clients but ignore the effects of their actions in exchange for dollars.  I'd expect a lot of people who work in the fossil fuel industry fall into this category.  Business is full of people who would kill their own mother for a corner office and sweeter stock option package.

Singer, I don't know, but the guy does have a science background.  He worked for the tobacco industry for a long time, I'd suspect he belongs in the whore group.

There's another group I've run into from time to time.  Dinosaurs.  Reasonably intelligent types who simply quit learning new stuff a long time ago.  I listened to an interview with a retired geology prof on our local public station a couple years back.  The guy seemed to know nothing that had happened since about 1985.  I remember him going off on how computer models of anything were worthless. He probably has an Apple II on his desk.  Maybe a II+.

wili

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #45 on: December 31, 2014, 05:31:57 AM »
These threads are being overcome by trolls. Please join me in not feeding the same. Thank you, and happy new year.
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Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #46 on: December 31, 2014, 10:25:24 AM »
Our Children's Trust in the US is suing the federal government and state governments.

In Holland the Urgenda Foundation and 900 citizens are suing the Dutch government at the Supreme Court and demanding that CO2-reduction targets will be raised from 20% to 40% in 2020:
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/nov/14/judiciary-climate-change

Coming April there'll be a hearing and probably this summer the Court will decide.

More info here:
http://www.wijwillenactie.nl/?page_id=1097

Recently a similar case was started in Belgium, and maybe cases in other countries will follow.

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #47 on: December 31, 2014, 02:49:12 PM »
The blame game:

http://web.archive.org/web/20070713165604/http://climateprediction.net/science/pubs/Allen&Lord.pdf

Liability for climate change
http://web.archive.org/web/20070713165643/http://climateprediction.net/science/pubs/nature_allen_270203.pdf

It seems appropriate to blame everyone for demand for fossil fuels and there is no way you are going to be able to sue everyone in the world.

However anyone selling fossil fuels also has a potential problem if using the fossil fuels in the way intended caused damage that is sufficiently foreseeable and proximate. These may not be easy hurdles but there might be room for class actions against say 100 largest sellers of fossil fuels.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #48 on: December 31, 2014, 05:49:46 PM »
Quote
However anyone selling fossil fuels also has a potential problem if using the fossil fuels in the way intended caused damage that is sufficiently foreseeable and proximate. These may not be easy hurdles but there might be room for class actions against say 100 largest sellers of fossil fuels.

Well, if they can get a suit supported all the way past the (conservative, very pro-business) Supreme Court that could help slow down fossil fuel use.

But I am not optimistic.

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Re: Insurance Industry Policies and Climate Change
« Reply #49 on: December 31, 2014, 08:28:03 PM »
I am not sure the insurance industry will be at the forefront for policy change to curb the impact of global warming, -although I advocated the opposite a few years ago on ASI Blog -. The industry is far from united. The life and health companies (cos), the most powerful -biggest balance and investment size in the developed countries- are not very vocal on climate change, some might even be on the side of climate-sceptic or even denial (e.g. L&G in the UK). Among the general insurance (non life) cos, the picture is quite diverse and far from united. Surely, some of the biggest re insurance cos (e.g. Swiss Re, Munich Re) have been vocal for quite some time about the risk of climate change, others are far more timid on the subject (e.g. SCOR, Hanover Re... probably due to their significant size of life risk, thus diluting their catastrophe risk and motivation to be vocal on this subject). Bermudian re insurance cos, traditionally more involved in catastrophe risk, also show a diverse picture as some of these cos are directly owned by private equity with short term view.
Additionally, (re) insurance property catastrophe contracts are based on a short term strategy: renewals are set up on an annual basis as well as for pricing, terms and conditions and exposures. Yearly renewals are based on historical catastrophe risk (catastrophe modelling generally do not include climate change risk), previous year losses, competition on pricing, availability of capital and insurance cycles (which are a combination of the previous factors). Insurance Link Securities (ILS, mainly “catastrophe bonds” or “cat bonds”) now compete more and more with re insurance, which is not going to trigger a price hike in property catastrophe contract, rather the opposite. “Cat bonds” are acquired by investors who do not necessarily understand the underlying risk especially the additional climate change risk, these products are very much in demand at the moment as they allow investors to diversify their risk from the systemic financial market risk....
Pricing from direct Insurance cos generally follow the movement from re-insurance costs + intrinsic factors from the direct insurance market competition. Direct general insurance cos will follow the movement from the re-insurance world. Only the world biggest general insurance cos with a predominant exposure to non life seems to be prepared and aware of the challenge (Allianz, Zurich...) while other big general insurance cos but with wider exposure in life seem to be very shy about climate change issue (e.g. Aviva, AXA...) and most medium size or local cos are not prepared.
I was surprised to read a study from Standard and Poor's earlier this year, stating that re insurance do not include climate change neither in their catastrophe modelling nor in their pricing (surprising in a way that this rather conservative organisation was getting around to consider climate change...). Consequently S&P reckons that some re insurance cos might under estimate their catastrophe losses by up to 50%; however the institution is not considering rating downgrade at the moment, so this study might not be a trigger...

Therefore, a price hike, and a drastic withdrawal from areas at risk of climate change (e.g.: wider coastal zone...) from the insurance industry is not likely unless a catastrophe with much higher losses than what the cos usually expect would happen. Sandy was a major and very unusual disaster with significant climate change foot print, but it was simply a dent in the profit of the (re) insurance cos as apart from Sandy, in 2012, the catastrophe losses was relatively benign in the US and throughout the world. Barely any (re) insurance cos rating was downgraded following Sandy.
As Kevin Anderson and other scientists, and many bloggers on this fantastic forum, remind every day, it is urgent to drastically reduce our CO2 emission; unfortunately I am very doubtful that the insurance industry will be a powerful trigger for rapid policy change... Up until now, the Lloyds syndicate of London is the only insurance group which has advocated (earlier this year) to include climate change impact in climate modelling and pricing.
Does anyone know whether the “big 3” cat modeller companies servicing the insurance industry –RMS, Eqecat, AIR- are about to release new catastrophes model including climate change impact?