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As Climate Change Transforms Insurance Industry, House Republicans Seek Protections for Industry as Consumers Pay the Price

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, insurance industry spokespeople and Republican lawmakers called for limiting the federal government’s authority to collect data vital to ensuring insurance industry transparency. In response, Carly Fabian, insurance policy advocate with Public Citizen’s Climate Team issued the following statement: 

“Climate change is undeniably a factor in increasing insurance costs, and insurers’ secretive approach to data makes it difficult for regulators, legislators, and the public to track this crisis at the national level. As the climate crisis deepens, data on insurance markets is a key metric for evaluating financial risks, and the need for comprehensive analysis is exactly why Congress created the Federal Insurance Office. Regulators at every level of the financial system need insight into the damage climate change is inflicting—and should be acting to mitigate risks to American families, financial stability, and the economy. Collecting data on climate impacts, pricing, and coverage is the bare minimum. Without this data we will all be flying blind, allowing a potentially systemic threat to undermine our financial system.

“The industry’s approach to climate change also reveals a double standard for who pays the price for costs of the climate crisis. While insurers are dropping homeowners, those same companies are bending over backwards to continue insuring fossil fuel companies, inventing policy loopholes to do so. Congress and regulators can no longer allow insurers to have it both ways and must act quickly to require insurers to provide meaningful plans to reduce their insured and financed emissions.”

For more information, please read the recent report: Covering Coal: The Top Insurers of U.S. Coal Mining

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