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CA Department of Insurance

Department of Insurance releases results of climate risk survey

News: 2013 Press Release

For Release: December 13, 2013
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Department of Insurance releases results of climate risk survey
Survey reveals overwhelming majority of insurers consider climate change risk in business model

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today released the results of the 2013 Climate Risk Survey, which reveals that the majority of insurers who participated in the survey are aware of the risks that climate change pose and have adjusted their business models in response to these risks.

"The results of this year's survey are a positive sign for the insurance industry and the environment," said Commissioner Jones. "It is encouraging to see that insurers are aware of the risks that a changing climate brings, and moreover they are taking steps to ensure their responses to these risks are sufficient to protect their business."

More than 1000 companies were required to respond to the survey. The survey revealed that roughly 75 percent of insurers have a plan for identifying climate change-related risks that could affect their business, and are taking actions to mitigate these risks. Responses to the eight survey questions reveal that nearly every insurer is aware of the risks posed by a changing climate, and an overwhelming majority of insurers have incorporated mitigating practices into their business model.

Earlier this year, Jones announced the expansion of the survey scope by requiring all companies with more than $100 million in direct written premium to respond to the survey. The expansion is important because it effectively doubled the number of companies surveyed, which resulted in a more robust database. In 2009, California was the first state to require insurers to respond to the survey but has since been joined by Washington State, New York, Connecticut and Minnesota in exploring actions taken by insurers' in response to their understanding of climate change risks.

Results from the 1063 companies that responded are available on the department website. The data is searchable and sortable, which allows viewers to conduct more detailed analyses of the various responses.

Surveying the insurance industry's response to the impacts of climate change has allowed state insurance departments to identify trends, vulnerabilities and best practices by insurance companies.

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $340 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at 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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