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Farmers Insurance to Stop Offering Coverage in Hurricane-Prone Florida

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Farmers Insurance announced today that the company will not renew existing automobile, home, and umbrella policies in Florida. The company’s announcement comes after it gave Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation notice on Monday, beginning a 90-day warning period for policy holders. Farmers’ decision will impact nearly 100,000 policies. In response, Carly Fabian, insurance policy advocate with Public Citizen’s Climate Program, issued the following statement: 

“As Farmers Insurance exits Florida due to concerns over increasing risk from severe weather, the insurance industry continues to prop up the fossil fuel industry. Farmers has held significant investments in fossil fuel companies, and its affiliated company, Zurich, remains a top global insurer of oil and gas. 

“Insurers pulling out of vulnerable markets continue to prioritize fossil fuels over homeowners and auto insurance policyholders, creating a crisis. This is reckless behavior by an industry that the public will be increasingly reliant on as the climate crisis intensifies.  

“Regulators must push insurers to mitigate climate-related risks by reducing the industry’s financing and insurance of the fossil fuel industry. Florida regulators and elected officials continue to stick their heads in the sand by criticizing financial firms who move away from fossil fuels. 

“In a summer where the climate crisis has spared no part of the world, the ongoing insurance crisis won’t be limited to Florida. Regulators should remember the lesson from AIG’s role in the 2007-2008 financial crisis—even seemingly sophisticated risk managers can contribute to systemic risk when their pursuit of short-term profits blinds them to complex risks. Protecting the country from an industry willing to undermine its own markets for short-term profits requires a thorough inspection by state and federal regulators to protect the public from a deepening crisis.”