For immediate release
New York Press Office: Michael Barry, 917-923-8245, email@example.com
NEW YORK, Dec. 21, 2022—Existing U.S. underwriting data enables the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) to assess the potential for major disruptions of private insurance coverage in markets vulnerable to climate risks, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).
“The U.S. insurance industry, in tandem with its 50-plus state insurance regulators, has long been dealing with and helping customers manage increasing climate risks, as more people are living in harm’s way. Rather than a separate undertaking of data collection, which could be duplicative, or even worse misleading, the Triple-I believes that existing publicly available information, combined with working with state regulators, would be a more productive approach. What’s more, helping bring risk management more top of mind through improving systems and processes that already fall under existing federal oversight, such as property financing and community development, would be a better use of resources,” stated Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Triple-I.
The U.S. Treasury Department’s FIO sought public input on a proposal to collect underwriting data at a ZIP code level from more than 200 property insurers in 34 states over a five-year period (2017-2021). This data may include information regarding claims, premiums, and losses. The FIO’s focus is on the largest U.S. writers of homeowners insurance, as well as insurers with the greatest market share in states vulnerable to climate-related disasters. The FIO’s deadline for submissions to its proposal was Dec. 20.
“U.S. Postal Service ZIP Codes, despite their granularity, are problematic when it comes to assessing weather- and climate-related risks. They represent postal delivery routes, not geographic features that affect flood, fire, or wind behavior. Using ZIP Code-level versions of existing data as a proxy for more relevant metrics could lead to confusion and bad decision making,” Triple-I’s response to the FIO proposal stated.
“FIO’s aim…. can be met using the information insurers already report, as well as other publicly available data. While there might be value in seeking more granular versions of this data from insurers, it isn’t clear that any such benefits would exceed the negative consequences. Further, Triple-I suggests that “assessing the potential” for disruptions might not be as productive an effort as working to prevent such disruptions by collaborating with the industry to reduce their likelihood,” the Triple-I’s correspondence to the FIO said.
The insurance industry is evolving from a focus on “detect and repair” to “predict and prevent,” the Triple-I’s letter noted, citing other insurer-led and supported initiatives beyond the Triple-I’s Resilience Accelerator, such as:
- Improved land-use and building codes
- Use of sophisticated data and analytical tools to inform underwriting, reserving, and pricing
- Public- and private-sector collaboration to address the decades-long trend of populations moving into harm’s way, which drives up the cost of extreme events; and
- Educating the public about advanced mitigation and the role of insurance as part of their resilience planning
“Insurers are taking a responsible approach toward promoting a more sustainable and resilient environment and economy. In addition to serving as financial first responders, they are working with the communities and industries they serve to get out in front of climate risk, reduce the impact of extreme events, and improve resilience,” the Triple-I’s letter to the FIO noted.
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