Insure Our Future in letter to insurance CEOs: "Overall the industry has failed"

Demands listed in annual message

Insure Our Future in letter to insurance CEOs: "Overall the industry has failed"


By Terry Gangcuangco

Global advocacy coalition Insure Our Future – which consists of organisations like The Sunrise Project, Coal Action Network, Market Forces, etc. – has published its annual letter to the chief executives of major fossil fuel insurers, outlining its demands and the industry’s supposed failures.

“Governments, businesses, and other actors all need to urgently scale up their efforts to avert an unmanageable climate breakdown,” reads part of the six-page letter seen by Insurance Business. “Insurers, as society’s risk managers, have a special responsibility to act and the power to drive change: without insurance most new fossil fuel projects cannot go ahead and existing ones cannot continue to operate.

“In the last few years many insurance companies have adopted exclusion policies which have helped accelerate the shift away from coal. However… overall the industry has failed to align its business with the scientific consensus on what is required to limit global warming to 1.5°C.”

Campaigners’ demands

In the letter, which was sent to the CEOs of 30 insurance companies, the 23 network members of the Insure Our Future campaign listed six actions that they believe must be carried out by insurers if they are taking the climate emergency seriously. These are the following:

  1. Immediately cease insuring new and expanded coal, oil, and gas projects.
  2. Immediately stop insuring any new customers from the fossil fuel sector which are not aligned with a credible 1.5ºC pathway, and stop offering any insurance services which support the expansion of coal, oil, and gas production at existing customers. Within two years, phase out all insurance services for existing fossil fuel company customers which are not aligned with such a pathway.
  3. Immediately divest all assets, including assets managed for third parties, from coal, oil, and gas companies that are not aligned with a credible 1.5ºC pathway.
  4. By July 2023, define and adopt binding targets for reducing your insured emissions which are transparent, comprehensive, and aligned with a credible 1.5ºC pathway.
  5. Immediately establish, and adopt as policy, robust due diligence and verification mechanisms to ensure clients fully respect and observe all human rights, including a requirement that they obtain and document the free, prior, and informed consent of impacted indigenous peoples as articulated in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  6. Immediately bring stewardship activities, membership of trade associations, and public positions as a shareholder and corporate citizen in line with a credible 1.5ºC pathway in a transparent way.

“As always, your response to this letter will serve as the basis of our annual scorecard report on insurance, fossil fuels, and the climate emergency,” Insure Our Future told insurance bosses. “Our scoring partner Reclaim Finance will send a questionnaire with specific questions to your sustainability staff in the coming months… Companies should be rewarded for showing climate leadership and those delaying the transition from fossil fuels must be exposed.”

Insure Our Future did not enumerate all the companies it sent the letter to but cited AIG, Allianz, AXA, Chubb, Generali, Liberty Mutual, Lloyd’s, Munich Re, SCOR, Sinosure, Sompo, Tokio Marine, and Zurich in a release.

What do you think of this story? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!