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Commissioner Lara named Co-Chair of National Climate & Resiliency Task Force

News: 2020 Press Release

For Release: August 13, 2020
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Commissioner Lara named Co-Chair of National Climate & Resiliency Task Force

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Today California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara was named Co-Chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Climate & Resiliency Executive Task Force, which was newly created to act as a coordinating and cross-cutting group on climate issues. NAIC President Ray Farmer, Director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance, will co-chair the task force alongside Commissioner Lara. Earlier this year, the NAIC identified climate risk as a top strategic focus for insurance regulators in 2020. The task force, originating from Commissioner Lara’s proposal, will elevate climate risk to a more prominent and integrative position within the NAIC.

“This Climate & Resiliency Executive Task Force is critical and timely to address the compounding climate risks that insurers and insurance consumers are facing,” said Commissioner Lara. “I am honored to be named Co-Chair of this executive-level task force alongside NAIC President Ray Farmer so, together with our colleagues, we can help elevate the impact of climate issues within the NAIC and ensure that insurance regulators are invested in effectively identifying and managing sustainability risks and opportunities. I am excited for the important work we will do to address climate issues facing the insurance industry, insurance consumers, and the world we live in.”

Commissioner Lara proposed the creation of this executive-level task force to elevate and integrate climate risk and resiliency strategies and policy considerations across the NAIC’s committee infrastructure. At this moment, climate change is impacting work on various committees including those focused on health insurance, property and casualty insurance, financial conditions, and international insurance relations. This task force will bring together a subset of insurance commissioners across the nation to incorporate climate risk approaches into the missions of these committees more directly. 

In one of his many climate efforts, on July 14, 2020, Commissioner Lara announced the launch of the Climate Smart Insurance Products Database, the first-ever consumer-oriented list of green insurance policies created to help the public understand and access these products and encourage further insurance policy innovation in commercial, homeowners, and auto lines, among other lines.

For the past decade, the Insurance Commissioners of California and Washington state have led climate efforts through the Climate Risk and Resilience Working Group at the NAIC, including implementing the Climate Risk Disclosure Survey, and as founding members of the international Sustainable Insurance Forum. 

This new task force will build on those accomplishments by enhancing climate risk disclosure, promoting climate-smart financial regulation, applying technology to storm, wildfire, hail, drought, extreme heat, and other climate-related risks, understanding insurance product innovation, and advocating for sustained investment in pre-disaster mitigation and resiliency. The composition of the full task force membership is still in process.

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Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.

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