Insurance commissioners call for insurers to divest from Russia

Insurance commissioners call for insurers to divest from Russia | Insurance Business America

Insurance commissioners call for insurers to divest from Russia

Two US state insurance commissioners have issued bulletins urging insurance companies operating within their jurisdictions to withdraw all financial support for Russia.

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King have each issued similar statements, calling for licensed insurance companies to distance themselves from the Moscow regime and hold Russian President Vladimir Putin accountable for the war with Ukraine.

“Vladimir Putin’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has rightfully led to condemnation from free nations across the globe,” said King. “I served alongside many brave Ukrainians in Iraq and Afghanistan and my heart is with them now as we continue to witness the horrors they face every day. Today’s action is meant to ensure that no Georgia company is subsidizing, even indirectly, Putin’s war.”

King also announced that the commissioner’s office will offer assistance to insurers to confirm any such divestments or business changes do not violate relevant laws or harm Georgia’s consumers.

“California stands with the world community in rejecting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its assault on freedom and equality,” said Lara in a statement. “As the nation’s largest insurance market and the fourth largest insurance market in the world, we must not tolerate California consumers’ insurance premiums funding an authoritarian regime that invades a sovereign government, terrorizes its population, and is an enemy of free expression, speech, assembly, press, and equality for LGBTQ+ people, women, and ethnic and religious minorities.”

Lara added that insurers “must send a loud and clear message of solidarity with the people of Ukraine and the global community” by retracting financial support for Russia.

Citing information from AM Best, the California Department of Insurance reported that US-based insurers’ direct investments exposed to Ukraine and Russia include almost $2 billion in bonds; indirect investments in businesses that derive shares of earnings from Russia may be even more substantial.

Lara warned insurers that he will use all remedies under state law to ensure insurers comply.

“If insurance companies do not voluntarily act now to dispose of direct investments in Russia, I will explore all options to compel them to follow through,” the commissioner said.