First Major U.S. Insurance Company to Stop Insuring and Investing in Coal
July 1, 2019
Chubb, the Largest Commercial Insurance Company in the U.S., Announces New Policy to Address Climate Change
July 1st, 2019 – Today, Chubb (NYSE: CB), the largest commercial insurance company in the United States, announced a new policy on coal to address the climate crisis. According to the policy, Chubb will stop insuring new coal-fired power plants and phase out coverage of coal mining companies by 2022. Chubb will also restrict coverage to power companies that produce more than 30% of their energy from coal and immediately cease new investments in coal companies.
“With this policy, Chubb has become the first major U.S. insurance company to acknowledge the key role the insurance industry has to play in stopping the climate crisis,” said Lindsey Allen, Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network. “New coal projects cannot be built without insurance, and Chubb just dealt a blow to the dozens of companies that are still betting on the expansion of coal globally. We are encouraged to see Chubb taking real action to address climate change and insure a healthier future.”
Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company and the market leader in insuring the US power sector. The company and its subsidiaries currently invest at least $2.9 billion in fossil fuel companies according to the California Department of Insurance’s Climate Risk Carbon Initiative database. Over the past 9 months Chubb has come under increasing pressure from members of the Insure Our Future campaign, which aims to stop the U.S. insurance industry from insuring and investing in coal and tar sands projects and companies.
“Chubb’s announcement is a clear sign that coal is becoming uninsurable worldwide,” said Mary Anne Hitt, Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. ”15 European and Australian insurance companies already restrict insurance to the coal industry. With the U.S. industry joining this global trend, governments and power utilities should see that industry is moving beyond coal.”
Since the launch of the global Unfriend Coal campaign two years ago, of which Insure Our Future is a part, 14 European insurers, and one Australian insurer, have come out with policies to address climate change. Eight of the policies were announced in the last six months with the scope of policies continuing to expand. Just last week, Zurich became the third insurer to limit involvement in the tar sands sector.
“A major U.S. insurer like Chubb restricting insurance for coal projects and companies is a game-changer. Now the company needs to strengthen its policy to exclude new coal mines, fully phase out coal across all underwriting and investment activities in line with the Paris Agreement, and stop insuring the destructive tar sands sector, ” said Ross Hammond, Senior Strategist for the Insure our Future campaign. “All eyes are on Liberty Mutual, AIG, and the rest of the U.S. insurance industry to join Chubb in acknowledging the role they have to play in stopping climate change by ending their support for fossil fuels.”