Congressman urges FIO to probe climate change impact on insurance coverage

Fossil fuel investments must also be disclosed, he says

Congressman urges FIO to probe climate change impact on insurance coverage


By Mika Pangilinan

The Federal Insurance Office (FIO) is being urged to investigate the impact of climate change on insurance coverage options for homeowners.

A letter penned by Congressman Adam Schiff called on the agency to look into major insurers’ decision to stop offering new home insurance policies in California and propose potential solutions.

State Farm and Allstate are just two of several carriers that have decided to limit coverage options in the state due to rising costs associated with climate-related risks.

In his letter, Schiff raised concerns about the impact of this trend on “countless families and small businesses throughout California.”

“We have now reached a point many have feared,” the letter said. “Working-class families, first-time homebuyers, and small businesses in climate-vulnerable areas across the country must now grapple with higher rates, restricted coverage, and an increasingly smaller pool of insurance availability.”

An additional point was made about insurers’ continued investment in the fossil fuel industry, with the letter citing a report by the California Department of Insurance which found that major insurance companies operating in the have invested over $536 billion in the fossil fuel industry in 2019 alone.

As such, Schiff’s letter requested that insurers with annual premiums exceeding $100 million be mandated to disclose their investments in fossil fuels to FIO.

This information must also be reported to Congress on an annual basis, the letter added.

In conjunction with this request, the letter asked that FIO investigate insurers’ green assets like renewable energy generation in support of a “transition towards supporting a sustainable, decarbonized economy.”

Schiff represents California’s 30th district. His letter was endorsed by Public Citizen and signed by fellow Congress members Zoe Lofgren, John Garamendi, Barbara Lee, Judy Chu, Tony Cardenas, Jared Huffman, Ro Khanna, Julia Brownley, and Salud Carbajal.

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