Insurers, Business Lobby Line Up Against Biden’s Climate Change Data Demands

US property casualty insurers, along with the powerful US Chamber of Commerce, are crying foul.

Insurers, Business Lobby Line Up Against Biden’s Climate Change Data Demands
Photo by René DeAnda / Unsplash

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) — along with the powerful US Chamber of Commerce — are joining state regulators’ call for the Biden Adminstration to drop or significantly scale back government plans to force insurers to hand over detailed climate related data.

Calling the the proposal from the US Treasury Department’s Federal Insurance Office (FIO) an “unreasonable burden”, the US Chamber of Commerce said in a comment letter released this week that any information gathered would not result in “meaningful conclusions about the effects of climate change on insurance affordability and availability.”

The Chamber echoed the objections of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) made last month that data call was encroaching on states’ regulatory authority over the insurance industry and that the federal move was duplicative.

“The Chamber believes that FIO should have made a good faith attempt at coordinating with state regulators and industry before issuing the Proposal,” the letter says. “FIO should engage with state regulators and rely on the existing state-level data rather than moving forward with a new data collection.”

Representing US property insurers, the APCIA said in its scathing letter that the data call effort “…fails to establish a fundamental question that it seeks to answer with data provided by insurers” and that the ask should be made of state regulators and insurance “data aggregators” instead of the industry.

The APCIA also said that federal proposal was confusing and that the FIO estimate the 213 insurers would be subject to the requirements (insurers with over $100 million in homeowners’ direct written premium or with 80 percent of the market shares of high climate risk states) was not accurate.

“Based on APCIA’s data, the proposed data collection would include dozens of insurers under the $100 million threshold, including some insurers whose direct written premium are only close to one-fifth of the threshold.”

“Previous data collection processes, such as those used to analyze the potential impact of Superstorm Sandy on insurers or the availability and affordability of auto insurance in majority- minority communities, have proven to be successful collaborations between FIO and interested stakeholders, including state insurance regulators, insurers, and data aggregators,” the APCIA said, adding that current effort by Treasury was a “less than serious effort to coordinate with state insurance regulators. “

The FIO announced in October that it was proposing a new data collection project from property casualty insurers to measure the “potential for major disruptions of private insurance coverage in regions of the country that are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.”

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