Groups, Officials Pen Letter to 3 Large California Insurers Asking Them to Ditch Fossil Fuels

October 31, 2019

Several dozen activist groups, businesses and elected representatives released a letter on Thursday to the CEOs of Liberty Mutual, AIG and Farmers calling on the three biggest fire insurers in California to stop fueling the “climate crisis” that is creating the conditions for longer wildfire seasons and more destructive fires.

As the groups sent the letter, several large fires throughout the state continue to rage. A catastrophe modeler released figures on Wednesday showing there are roughly 1,470 structures within the perimeter of three of fires representing a total reconstruction value $550 million.

The letter dated. Oct. 31 is addressed to David Long, CEO of Liberty Mutual, Brian Duperreault, CEO of AIG, and Jeff Dailey, CEO or Farmer Insurance Group.

It states that the companies must stop insurance coverage for, and investments in, fossil fuel projects and companies.

A briefing paper from Insure Our Future details the three companies’ total investments in fossil fuels: Liberty Mutual ($8.9 billion), AIG ($2.1 billion) and Farmers ($1.6 billion).

Representatives from all three insurers have been reached out to for comment.

The letter was signed by officials and organizations from many communities hit hard by wildfires in recent years and highlights the two ways the senders believe these companies are driving the climate crisis: providing insurance for fossil fuel projects and companies; and investing their customers’ premiums in fossil fuels.

Without insurance, most fossil fuel projects, like coal plants and oil pipelines, would not be able to operate or be built in the first place, the letter notes.

In the past four years, nearly 350,000 rural homeowners in California have had their coverage dropped, according to the California Department of Insurance, while non-renewals in zip codes affected by the 2015-2017 wildfires jumped by almost 10% in 2018 alone, the letter notes.

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