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US Treasury climate official calls for insurance changes for extreme weather conditions

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WASHINGTON, Sept.9 (Reuters) – Climate-related weather events are costing U.S. households, businesses and insurers billions of dollars in losses, and there is no indication they will abate, Reuters told Reuters on Thursday. senior climate official at the US Treasury.

Climate adviser John Morton said the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) of the Treasury is seeking public input to better understand and assess the insurance risks posed by climate-related weather events such as the hurricane Ida.

Hurricane Ida, which made landfall on August 29 with winds of 240 km / h, cutting off most of the United States’ offshore oil and gas production for more than a week and damaging platforms and facilities support ashore. It was one of the costliest hurricanes since back-to-back storms of 2005 slashed production for months, according to the latest historical data and records.

“Last year alone, climate-related weather events resulted in nearly $ 120 billion in losses, and (…) nearly $ 50 billion was uninsured,” Morton said in an interview.

“We are not only seeing the insurance industry taking an increasingly severe and regular hit, but we are also seeing US households, US small businesses being hit at significant levels,” he said. “And there is no reason to expect these losses to stop.”

The Federal Insurance Office will accept comments for 75 days and then make recommendations for better pricing of the risks climate change poses to insured properties and operations, Morton said.

“The question is how to better understand and start to assess the risk inherent in the underlying activities,” he said.

In his request for information of August 31, he cited a dramatic increase in the frequency and severity of climate-related disasters, and said they had resulted in growing economic losses and financial risks.

“The increased frequency and severity of climate-related disasters, as well as the magnitude of the associated insured losses, highlight the importance of these climate-related financial risks and the role of insurers in responding to them,” he said. he said, adding that some consumers are increasingly unable to find affordable property insurance in some markets.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder; additional reports by Trevor Hunnicutt

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2/ https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/us-treasury-climate-official-seeks-insurance-changes-extreme-weather-2021-09-09/

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