Wednesday, March 18, 2015

OIC helps develop training for examining, analyzing insurers’ climate change risk

As the state’s insurance regulator, one of the things the Office of the Insurance Commissioner does is examine and analyze insurers’ finances to make sure they have enough money in cash and investments to pay consumers’ insurance claims. Climate change is increasingly a risk to insurers’ business, both from a claims standpoint and from an investment standpoint.
Some of OIC’s friendly financial examiners participate in a dry run of a new training for state regulators to evaluate insurers’ climate change risk.

Commissioner Kreidler has led the climate change work group for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) since 2006. As part of that work, the OIC led a work group that developed the guidance for other state regulators to use when evaluating insurers’ climate change risks and investments during financial examinations and analyses. Last week, the OIC’s financial examiners and analysts were given a dry run of the training to offer feedback before it is presented to other state regulators. In essence, insurers are expected to identify climate change-related risk to their business and evaluate how these factors may affect their claims and how they invest their money.

Washington is not new to working with insurers on climate change. Since 2010, our state has been one of a handful that requires insurance companies to answer an annual survey about how they are addressing their risk related to climate change.

You can read more about Commissioner Kreidler’s work with climate change and read the most recent report about how insurers are addressing climate change.