This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 31, 2010

Insurance Commissioners Back Off on Climate Change Disclosures

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has backed away from a mandatory requirement for insurance companies to disclose to regulators the financial risks they face from climate change. Under the requirement passed in 2009, all insurance companies with annual premiums of $500 million or more would have been required to complete an Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey every year, with an initial reporting deadline of May 1, 2010. The scope of issues covered by the survey was meant to be broad, reflecting the many ways in which climate change will impact the insurance industry. However, at the NAIC's spring meeting, the commissioners adopted a new, watered-down version of the survey.

The new survey adds qualifications that it is not meant to "express an opinion on the existence or absence of climate change," and it also prohibits the use of the survey for any purpose relating to regulatory consideration of a proposed rate change. Completion of the survey is now at the discretion of each state, but the suggested guideline is for the survey to be mandatory for insurance companies with annual premiums of $300 million or more. See the NAIC press releases on the original mandate and the revised survey, as well as the full text of the revised survey (PDF 187 KB). Download Adobe Reader.