The Hartford became the latest insurance carrier to cut back on business it does with the fossil fuel industry out of concern over climate change.
The company announced it will no longer insure or invest in companies that generate more than 25 percent of their revenues from thermal coal mining or more than 25 percent of their energy production from coal.
In addition, the company will also stop insuring and investing in companies that generate more than 25 percent of their revenues directly from the extraction of oil from tar sands.
“The world needs affordable, accessible energy to support global economic progress and, at the same time, action is needed to mitigate the impact such activity has on our climate,” said The Hartford’s Chairman and CEO Christopher Swift. “Extreme weather affects people’s lives and businesses – and the risks are getting worse. As an insurer and asset manager we recognize the growing cost of this crisis, and we’re determined to use our resources and influence to address the challenge. That’s why we have taken a position on coal and tar sands.”
According to reporting by Insurance Journal, a dozen insurers have adopted policies to stop all direct insurance coverage to new coal projects – among them are Chubb, Allianz, AXA, Generali, QBE, Zurich, SCOR and Swiss Re. And seven have restricted their insurance services to existing coal projects.
The Hartford’s new policy brings to 18 the number of global insurers that have now restricted insurance services to coal projects in the past two years, according to a report by Insure Our Future, a group of climate activists pressuring the insurance industry to move away from supporting the fossil fuel industry.
Earlier this month, Liberty Mutual Insurance announced that it will drastically limit future underwriting for and investment in coal risks. Liberty Mutual said it also plans to phase-out coverage and investments for existing risks that exceed its new, tighter thresholds by 2023.
In July global insurer Chubb also joined the ranks. The insurer announced it will no longer underwrite the construction and operation of new coal-fired plants or new risks for companies that generate more than 30% of their revenues from coal mining or energy production from coal. Insurance coverage it now writes for existing coal-plant risks that exceed this threshold will be phased out by 2022, and for utilities beginning in 2022. In addition, Chubb will not make new debt or equity investments in companies that generate more than 30% of revenues from thermal coal mining or energy production from coal.
The Hartford said its new policy includes:
- No new underwriting of or investments in the construction and operation of new coal-fired plants;
- No new underwriting of or investments in companies that generate more than 25 percent of their revenues from thermal coal mining or more than 25 percent of their energy production from coal;
- No new underwriting of or investments in companies that generate more than 25 percent of their revenues directly from the extraction of oil from tar sands;
- Phase out existing underwriting relationships and divest publicly traded investments which exceed the threshold by 2023; and
- Exceptions for business lines that cover employees, such as disability, life and other voluntary products offered by our Group Benefits division – where we are providing protection to people
- Are Employees Pushing Insurers to Shun Coal in Climate Change Movement?
- Citing Climate Change, Chubb Will Limit Insuring, Investing in Coal Plants
- Liberty Mutual to Limit Coal Underwriting, Investments; Names First Sustainability Officer
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