An update to a development we noted a few weeks ago — as reported by Climate Wire today, at the national meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) yesterday, regulatory officials from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) unanimously voted in favor of rules requiring insurers to disclose the impacts of climate change on their business decisions.
The mandatory survey’s adoption comes shortly after Maplecroft, a British risk management firm, reported that, although third world countries are more likely to experience climate-related fatalities, the US ranks #1 in the study’s list of nations facing financial climate risk, and averaged $18 billion annually in economic losses from natural disasters between 1980 and 2008.
As insurance is regulated by each state independently, the climate risk rules must still be adopted by individual states in order to be enforced. Nonetheless, given that all members voted in favor of the rules, adoption seems likely. To ensure that the rules are applied evenly, the NAIC Climate Change Task Force plans to monitor states’ actions and collect sample answers from insurers to see how the surveys are completed.