Connecticut wants to penalize insurers for backing fossil fuel projects

Grist: The nation’s insurance industry has gone haywire in recent years amid a succession of floodsfires, and other climate-fueled disasters. These catastrophes have forced carriers to pay out billions in claims, and many have responded by raising premiums in disaster-prone states like Florida and Oregon or leaving certain markets altogether.

But many of these companies also provide coverage for fossil fuel projects, like pipelines and natural gas power plants, that would never be built without their backing. This gives the insurance industry a unique role on both sides of the climate crisis: Insurers are helping make the problem worse by underwriting the very projects that warm the Earth even as they bear the costs of mounting climate disasters and pass them on to customers.

Legislation in Connecticut, the capital of the American insurance industry and home to several of its largest carriers, could make insurers pay for that contradiction. If passed, the bill, which just cleared a committee vote in the state Senate, would move toward imposing a fee for any fossil fuel projects companies insure in-state. That revenue would go into a public resilience fund that could underwrite sea walls and urban flood protection measures. Read more>>