Insurance and Climate Change column

Climate Risk Analytics Firm Gets Capital Injections from Liberty and MS&AD

By | July 30, 2020

Jupiter, a Silicon Valley startup provider of predictive data and analytics for climate risk, announced it has raised additional capital from insurers Liberty Mutual and MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, and SYSTEMIQ, a sustainable economic systems firm.

Jupiter, which declined to disclose how much it has received, says it plans to use the new capital to fuel an expansion of operations and increase product development.

Last year, Jupiter was given a $1 million grant from the Moore Foundation to accelerate deployment of its FireScore Operations service, a wildfire threat and intelligence platform to make it available for public safety entities throughout California. Also last year in March, Jupiter announced that it had completed a $23 million Series B funding round to expand its analytics services that can provide investors and companies with detailed short and long-term weather patterns for specific locations.

The firm in 2018 launched what it calls a “transformative cloud-based technology platform,” designed to enable decision makers to “confidently predict and manage risk caused by severe weather and medium- to long-term climate change at a hyper-local level.”

One collaboration already underway with Liberty Mutual is a pilot with the construction industry to develop new and enhanced risk management solutions.

Jupiter offers data and analytics services to help make informed decisions to safeguard critical at-risk infrastructure from extreme weather, sea-level rise, storm intensification, and rising temperatures caused by short, medium, and long-term climate change.

Preferred Employers and Bees

Preferred Employers Insurance, a Berkley company in California, is taking strides to be an environmentally friendly organization with what it says are efforts that are are “unique, with green actions being delivered alongside business efforts.”

Printed promotions for their MPN+ app, a service that connects injured workers with ER physicians, was produced on seeded paper that sprouts pollenating wildflowers when planted, according to a company announcement.

After registering for the MPN+ service, Preferred Employers Insurance requests their customers to plant this registration sheet to help nourish the declining bee population.

“Environmental impact and insurance do not typically go together, but they can,” David Silva, creative marketing director, said in a statement. “Achieving business objectives through innovative marketing is always our goal. In this case, we are simply achieving this goal with a bit more buzz—pun intended.”

The company also prints selected material with businesses dedicated to replanting trees lost to wildfires and other forms of deforestation. The papers that Preferred Employers Insurance has chosen to use have been made from post-consumer waste, such as discarded milk cartons, and were created using wind power.

Indiana Climate

A statewide survey on environmental attitudes conducted by Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute shows that race also plays a role in perceptions and vulnerabilities to climate change.

The findings come from the Hoosier Life Survey, which is designed to capture how Indiana residents perceive environmental changes, how residents are being affected in their homes and communities, how Hoosiers are preparing, and what they expect in the future.

The survey was sent to 10,000 residents across eight pre-defined regions in the state to ensure adequate geographic coverage.

People of color in Indiana are twice as likely as white people to agree that climate change will harm them a great deal and 25 percent more likely to agree that climate change is harming people in the US right now, according to the report out in mid-July.

The report shows that 76% of Black Hoosiers and 86% of non-Black people of color agree that climate change is happening compared with 72% of white Hoosiers.

When asked about climate-related policies, Black Indiana residents were nearly twice as likely as white residents to endorse policies such as public funding for air conditioning, free health services for vulnerable populations during heat waves, and a text-based early warning system to reduce heat-wave risks.

“These survey results illustrate the importance of considering racial inequalities in climate resilience planning and resource allocation,” Matt Houser, an IU sociologist and Environmental Resilience Institute research fellow who co-led the survey, said in a statement. “They also point to the willingness of minority populations in Indiana to support climate preparedness policy.”

Coastal Flooding

Failure to rein in climate change and bolster sea defenses could jeopardize up to one fifth of the world’s economic output by the end of the century, a study in the journal Scientific Reports on Thursday shows.

From Bangladesh and India to Australia to Britain, rising sea levels already are leading to more frequent and extreme flood events. With climate change causing polar ice to melt and ocean waters to expand, economists have sought for years to put a figure on the future potential damage, Reuters reported in an Insurance Journal article on Thursday.

One-in-100-year flood events could occur as frequently as once in 10 years for much of the world, say the authors of the report, who include researchers at the universities of Amsterdam, Melbourne and the Global Climate Forum.

This worst-case scenario would cost the world up to 20% of its annual gross domestic product, estimates that were based on factors including the populations and assets at risk, and models of tides, surges and sea levels around the world’s coasts. That currently comes to around $17.6 trillion based on estimated 2019 GDP, according to the Reuters article.

A report out in April asserts that sea-level rise will “radically redefine the coastline of the 21st century,” with extreme flooding events in some U.S. coastal areas doubling every five years. The study, also published on in Scientific Reports, suggests that extreme water levels that are now reached once every 50 years may be exceeded daily along U.S. coastlines before the end of the 21st century.

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