The insurance industry has been warning about climate risks for over 50 years and is supposed to keep catastrophic risks manageable – like the fires, flooding and storm damage caused by the climate crisis. But insurance companies are actually a huge part of the problem because they continue to insure dirty, destructive fossil fuel projects for a profit and are investing customers’ premiums in the fossil fuel industry.
Travelers’ Role in the Climate Crisis
Travelers is one of the largest oil and gas insurers in the world with over $4.7 billion USD invested in fossil fuels. Despite recent pressure from shareholders, Travelers refuses to rise to the climate challenge and level with global insurance peers with an oil and gas exclusion policy.
Because of Travelers’ dual role in insuring and investing in new fossil fuels, U.S. lawmakers Senator Whitehouse, Senator Wyden, and Senator Sanders are now investigating Travelers, among 6 other insurance giants that are contradictorily increasing premiums or pulling coverage from climate-impacted areas while simultaneously supporting the fossil fuel industry that fuels the climate emergency.
The Power to Change
Insurance companies have a huge amount of power to help steer us towards a greener and sustainable future.Without insurance, most new fossil fuel projects cannot go ahead, and existing ones would have to close, which makes insurance the Achilles heel of the fossil fuel industry.
And they have the most incentive to shift; extreme weather caused by climate change is making growing parts of the planet uninsurable. The insurance industry is not used to being targeted and many insurers have started to move away from fossil fuels but not fast enough and important laggards like Travelers remain. Despite some progress, global players need increased pressure to move faster and stop insuring fossil fuel expansion.
Email Travelers’ CEO Alan Schnitzer and tell him how you feel about Travelers insuring fossil fuels in the face of scientists and reputable institutions pleading with the financial industry, including Travelers, to stop the development of any new fossil fuels for a livable planet.