California, New York, and Washington will require that large insurance companies, including some of the best auto insurance companies, operating within those states disclose how they respond, and plan to respond, to the risks posed by climate change. [New York Times]
The U.S. in 2011 experienced a record number of natural disasters, and the costs of recovery – much of which will be borne by the insurance industry – are expected to exceed $50 billion. [New York Times]
“We want to make sure that the financial soundness and stability of the insurance companies are not jeopardized by inadequate preparation for climate change,” said Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. [E&E ClimateWire (sub. req.)]
What do you think of this requirement as a question of state policy? Of federal policy? What public good comes out of the information collected by a survey like this? Could the costs to insurers of climate-related disasters be a catalyst for broader policy change?