Conn.-Based Insurers Now Required to Participate in NAIC Climate Risk Surveys

July 17, 2013

Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi today announced that Connecticut-based insurance companies will now be required to complete the annual Climate Risk Survey that was initially adopted in 2009 as a voluntary report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Connecticut has joined with four other states — California, Minnesota, New York and Washington — in making the survey response mandatory for licensed companies that are writing annual premiums of more than $100 million. In Connecticut, approximately 110 insurance companies meet that criteria and will be required to complete the survey.

“As regulators, it is important that we identify those climate-related factors that can affect the marketplace and in particular the availability and cost of insurance. These surveys give us another window into the industry’s risk management practices as they relate to changing weather patterns,” Commissioner Leonardi said. “This is also a transparent process and the surveys will be made available to the public.”

The eight-question survey must be completed and submitted to regulators by Aug. 30, 2013. The survey requires insurers to provide a description of the steps taken with respect to climate-related risks.

Survey topics include helping policyholders mitigate potential losses, identifying geographical areas of business at risk and describing the use of computer modeling. Carriers are also asked to summarize any climate-related policy the company may have with respect to investment management.

“I also believe that this information will be a help to the industry itself, its investors and its reinsurers, the sector of the industry that bears a great deal of risk by underwriting losses for the traditional carriers,” Commissioner Leonardi said.

“Carriers are the specialists in risk management and have successfully advocated for safer automobiles and homes to reduce loss. This is another opportunity for the industry to help us all chart a safer and more prepared approach for significant weather events to ultimately mitigate damage and reduce costs for the consumer,” the commissioner said.

California, New York and Washington had mandatory reporting requirements since 2009 for companies writing more than $300 million in premium. The new $100 million premium threshold could double the number of respondents. Those reports from 2009-2012 can be found at the Climate Risk Disclosure Survey section of the California insurance department website.

The following are the summaries of eight Climate Risk Survey questions for the reporting year 2012 (courtesy of the California insurance department):

Question One: Does the company have a plan to assess, reduce or mitigate its emissions in its operations or organizations?
Yes – The company has a plan to assess and reduce or mitigate emissions in our operations or organizations- Please summarize.
No – The company does not have a plan to assess and reduce or mitigate emissions in our operations or organizations – Please describe why not.

Question Two: Does the company have a climate change policy with respect to risk management and investment management? If yes, please summarize. If no, how do you account for climate change in your risk management?
Yes – The company has a climate change policy with respect to risk management and investment management – Please summarize.
No – The company does not have a climate change policy with respect to risk management and investment management – Please describe how you account for climate change in your risk management, or why you do not account for climate change in your risk management.

Question Three: Describe your company’s process for identifying climate change-related risks and assessing the degree that they could affect your business, including financial implications.
Yes – The company has a process for identifying climate change-related risks and assessing the degree that it could affect our business including financial implications – Please summarize.
No – The company does not have a process for identifying climate change-related risks and assessing the degree that it could affect our business including financial implications – Please describe why not.

Question Four: Summarize the current or anticipated risks that climate change poses to your company. Explain the ways that these risks could affect your business. Include identification of the geographical areas affected by these risks.
Yes – The company has identified current or anticipated risks that climate change poses to our company – Explain the ways that these risks could affect your business -Include identification of the geographical areas affected by these risks.
No – The company has not identified current or anticipated risks that climate change will pose to our company – Please describe why not.

Question Five: Has the company considered the impact of climate change on its investment portfolio? Has it altered its investment strategy in response to these considerations? If so, please summarize steps you have taken.
Yes – The company has considered the impact of climate change on its investment portfolio – Please summarize.
No – The company has not considered the impact of climate change on its investment portfolio – Please describe why not.
Yes – The company has altered its investment strategy in response to these considerations – Please summarize steps you have taken.
No – The company has not altered its investment strategy in response to these considerations – Please describe why not.

Question Six: Summarize steps the company has taken to encourage policyholders to reduce the losses caused by climate change-influenced events.
Yes – The company has taken steps to encourage policyholders to reduce the losses caused by climate change-influenced events – Please summarize.
No – The company has not taken steps to encourage policyholders to reduce the losses caused by climate change-influenced events – Please describe why not.

Question Seven: Discuss steps, if any, the company has taken to engage key constituencies on the topic of climate change.
Yes – The company has taken steps to engage key constituencies on the topic of climate change – Please summarize.
No – The company has not taken steps to engage key constituencies on the topic of climate change – Please describe why not.

Question Eight: Describe actions the company is taking to manage the risks climate change poses to your business including, in general terms, the use of computer modeling.
Yes – The company is taking actions to manage the risks climate change poses to the business – Please summarize what actions the company is taking and in general terms the use if any of computer modeling.
No – The company is not taking actions to manage the risks climate change poses to the business – Please describe why.

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