Global Warming Heats Up the Insurance Industry

Fact Sheet
October 01, 2007

Without action to curb global warming pollution, average global temperatures will continue to rise, increasing the frequency and intensity of wildfires, heat waves, droughts, and floods. A changing climate means instability in the insurance industry: in 2005 insurers paid out a record $80 billion in weather-related catastrophic losses worldwide, while the following year brought record profits. A Supreme Court ruling on heat-trapping emissions is likely to create new liability for polluters and their insurers. To maintain consistent and affordable consumer coverage, insurers must conduct a comprehensive assessment of their global warming exposure and support responsible policy action to reduce heat-trapping pollution, like that championed by NRDC and industry leaders.