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Forum Post: If Republicans really trust "the Market" they should listen to the private insurance corps on Climate Change

Posted 2 years ago on Oct. 28, 2012, 10:48 a.m. EST by VQkag2 (16478)
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Climate-Proofing The Insurance Industry

The world’s largest reinsurer has examined the recent rise in the number and severity of natural disasters worldwide, and finds the trend bears the unmistakable fingerprints of climate change.

What’s more, America is bearing the brunt of that change.

“North America is the continent with the largest increases in disasters,” Munich Re’s Peter Hoppe told USA Today yesterday. Take a look at the map of the most costly extreme weather events in 2011 and so far in 2012 for a snapshot that begins to show what he’s talking about.

The drumbeat of a warming climate, worsening weather, and the resulting human toll continues, and keeps getting louder. At this point, it should be deafening enough to wake up anyone still denying the reality of a new normal for our climate, our weather, and the insurance companies whose stability underlies our economy.

Here are just a few of the voices of concern recently raised:

“Insurance is the first line of defense against extreme weather losses, but climate change is a game-changer for the models that insurers have long relied on,” Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler told an industry blog on risk and insurance. “Companies will need to adapt if insurance is to remain available and affordable.”

“With 40 percent of industrial insurance claims that Allianz now pays out being due to natural catastrophes, climate change represents a threat to our business,” Allianz told the Insurance Journal.

“We are already vulnerable to the impacts of weather related natural catastrophes. We expect climate change to compound the problems,” Swiss Re Natural Hazards Expert Megan Linkin says on the reinsurer’s web site.

“The insurance sector has broader importance because of the role it plays in the broader economy. Insurance is the oxygen that keeps our economy alive,” added Jack Ehnes, CEO of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, one of the nation’s largest investors. “Despite the significant risk that climate change re