Revealed – top fossil fuel insurers

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Revealed – top fossil fuel insurers | Insurance Business America















Campaign urges industry to support climate target


Environmental

By
Kenneth Araullo



The Insure Our Future campaign warns today in its seventh annual scorecard on insurers’ climate policies that despite the insurance industry’s initial warnings about the climate emergency 50 years ago, insurers are still contributing to the crisis by supporting fossil fuel projects.

Most insurers continue to back projects that increase oil and gas production, a stance incompatible with the 1.5°C Paris climate target set by leading climate scientists. According to research by Insuramore, fossil fuel insurance earned the industry around $21.25 billion in 2022.

Insuramore estimates that insurers at Lloyd’s of London collectively underwrite the most fossil fuel policies, with estimated annual premiums ranging between $1.6-$2.2 billion. The top 10 insurers in the fossil fuel sector are as follows:

Top 10 fossil fuel insurers in 2022














Rank 

Name 

Country of HQ 

Premium range (millions)

Midpoint 

1. 

AEGIS 

Bermuda 

1,550-1,850 

1,700 

2.  

PICC 

China 

1,250-1,650 

1,450 

3. 

Sogaz 

Russia 

800-1,100 

950 

4. 

Chubb 

USA 

550-850 

700 

5.  

Allianz 

Germany 

475-775 

625 

6.  

AXA 

France 

450-750 

600 

6.  

Fairfax Financial 

Canada 

450-750 

600 

6. 

Zurich 

Switzerland 

450-750 

600 

9. 

W.R. Berkley 

USA 

525-625 

575 

10. 

AIG 

USA 

425-675 

550 

Natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and droughts have led to a surge in insurance payouts, averaging $110 billion annually since 2017. However, insurers are now declining to insure homeowners in the riskiest markets.

Munich Re, the first to warn about the climate risks in 1973, observed that rising temperatures would lead to environmental changes. However, despite these warnings, fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions continue to rise. Thousands of new fossil fuel projects are in progress, posing a threat to limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

Climate change’s effects on insurance

The Global Energy Monitor reports numerous proposed or under-construction fossil fuel projects, including coal, oil, and gas extraction projects, coal power plants, LNG import terminals, gas, and oil pipelines, among others.

Insurers are experiencing increased financial risks due to climate change. Reinsurance capital decreased by 20-25% in 2022, causing a spike in premiums. Major insurers like AIG Re, AXIS Capital, AXA XL, Everest Re, and SCOR reduced cover or withdrew from the property market.

In response to escalating climate disasters, primary insurers covering over two-fifths of California’s home insurance market have withdrawn. State Farm, Allstate, Chubb, Tokio Marine, AIG, and Berkshire Hathaway’s AmGUARD are among those that left, impacting homeowner vulnerability and property values.

Leading insurers that joined the Net Zero Insurance Alliance have also faced criticism for not fulfilling their commitments. Twenty out of 31 members left the alliance under the threat of anti-trust action in the US. Only a few have published transition plans and net zero targets, failing to adopt targets to reduce their absolute insured emissions by 34%.

“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. 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,” Insure Our Future global coordinator Peter Bosshard said.

“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. They would be suing fossil fuel companies, to make polluters pay for the growing costs of climate disasters and keep insurance affordable for climate-affected communities,” Bosshard said.

“A symbol of insurers’ failure”

The 2023 Scorecard on Insurance, Fossil Fuels, and the Climate Emergency, a report collated by 22 organisations across 12 countries, extensively evaluates the climate policies of 30 major insurers. Notably, the current report features a significant symbolic gesture, leaving the top three places vacant in its ranking table, emblematic of insurers’ insufficient response to the ongoing climate emergency.





































(Re)insurer 

Category 

Country 

Coal Insurance 

Oil and Gas Insurance 

Total Ranking 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Allianz 

Insurer 

DE 

Generali 

Insurer 

IT 

Aviva 

Insurer 

UK 

Swiss Re 

Reinsurer 

CH 

AXA 

Insurer 

FR 

Hannover Re 

Reinsurer 

DE 

Axis Capital 

Reinsurer 

BE 

13 

10 

Zurich 

Insurer 

CH 

11 

11 

Munich Re 

Reinsurer 

DE 

10 

12 

SCOR 

Reinsurer 

FR 

10 

13 

HDI Global – Talanx 

Insurer 

DE 

12 

14 

Mapfre 

Insurer 

ES 

11 

15 

QBE 

Insurer 

AU 

13 

15 

16 

AIG 

Insurer 

US 

14 

14 

17 

Chubb 

Insurer 

US 

16 

12 

18 

Sompo 

Insurer 

JP 

16 

16 

19 

Tokio Marine 

Insurer 

JP 

16 

17 

20 

MS&AD 

Insurer 

JP 

16 

17 

20 

Samsung FM 

Insurer 

KR 

15 

17 

22 

The Hartford 

Insurer 

US 

16 

20 

23 

Travelers 

Insurer 

US 

16 

20 

24 

Ping An 

Insurer 

CN 

22 

23 

25 

Liberty Mutual 

Insurer 

US 

22 

23 

26 

Lloyd’s 

Reinsurer 

UK 

24 

22 

27 

Berkshire Hathaway 

Reinsurer 

US 

25 

23 

28 

Everest Re 

Reinsurer 

BE 

25 

23 

28 

PICC 

Insurer 

CN 

25 

23 

28 

Sinosure 

Insurer 

CN 

25 

23 

28 

Starr 

Insurer 

US 

25 

23 

28 

WR Berkley 

Insurer 

US 

25 

23 

28 

In the assessment of fossil fuel insurance policies, Allianz leads the rankings for its comprehensive approach, with Generali, Aviva, and Swiss Re following closely behind.

When evaluating coal Insurance, Allianz stands as the sole company with a perfect 10/10 score, followed by AXA, Swiss Re, and Generali, illustrating their prominent policies in this sector.

Concerning oil & gas insurance, Aviva and Generali showcase robust limitations, though their scores are at 4.0/10. Notably, these companies, alongside German insurers Allianz, Hanover Re, Talanx, and Munich Re, positioned at 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 7th places respectively, have ceased new insurance for oil and gas production with few major exceptions.

However, none of the 30 insurers have terminated coverage for new gas power plants, and only a minimal few have withdrawn support for the upcoming surge of liquefied fossil gas (LNG) terminals.

“Insurers talk a lot about the need for oil and gas companies to transition away from fossil fuels. In reality, they are not advocating for a transition away from fossil fuel extraction but are satisfied if fossil fuel companies adopt shallow net zero commitments, shift from coal to gas extraction, invest in renewable energy projects and reduce their operational emissions. This does nothing to reduce the climate impact of burning the oil and gas these companies sell, which is by far the biggest part of their life-cycle emissions,” the scorecard said.

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