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Climate Change, Election Results Signal Need for New Strategies by Insurers, Say IN Magazine Features

INDIANAPOLIS (January 22, 2007) — A couple of hot issues are featured prominently in the latest issue of IN magazine, the quarterly publication of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC). Climate change and the November elections are explored from the insurance industry’s perspective.

Contributing Editor Lisa Floreancig looks at the dicey issue of climate change, which many scientists and prognosticators blame for an upswing in recent hurricane activity.

The article examines the scientific research on recent changes in global temperatures and whether it’s the result of human activity. More importantly, it discusses the role of the insurance industry.

Floreancig cites a recent study by the Ceres investor coalition that says U.S. insurers have seen a 15-fold increase in insured losses from catastrophic weather events in the past three decades and warns of potentially facing larger financial losses ahead. She also identifies tactics underway in the insurance industry to meet the challenge. AIG, for example, has developed strategies to mitigate the damage from severe weather and lessen the financial load on insurers and policyholders.

“Climate change is truly an issue causing people to take note — not only in the insurance industry, but in scientific, public policy, government, and corporate circles worldwide,” said IN magazine Editor-In-Chief Jon Gorman. “We have just tried to introduce the discussion in this issue of the magazine with a well-researched and written analysis of where the issue stands today.”

Changes in the national political environment are the focus of an article by Marliss Browder, NAMIC’s senior federal affairs director. After spending 12 years in the minority, the Democrats now control both the U.S. House and Senate. Browder looks at the implications for insurers.

“The good news is that most property/casualty insurance issues that are likely to be considered in the new Congress are not partisan, political issues, although the philosophies and core constituent groups in some cases will drive the approach,” she points out. “There will be many new congressional members who will be unfamiliar with our industry.”

The Democratic wind that blew through the country in November is also likely to result in some very different state legislative priorities in 2007, says NAMIC’s Associate Director, Public Policy David Reddick, in an article on the state election results.

Unfavorable bills could emerge in states like Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Oregon, where both the governor's office and state legislative chambers are controlled by Democrats. Legislation related to credit-based insurance scoring and natural disasters are likely to appear.

On the other hand, Reddick notes the good news in Oregon and South Dakota, where voters rejected measures unfavorable to consumers.

“The midterm election analyses in this issue of the magazine are among the most in-depth and accurate that I have seen,” Gorman said. “NAMIC’s government affairs staff have proven once again to be on the front lines in both the federal and state legislatures, as well as in state insurance departments on behalf of NAMIC member companies.”

For further information, contact
David Reddick
(317) 875-5250 Tel
(317) 879-8408 Fax

Posted: Monday, January 22, 2007 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Monday, January 22, 2007 3:41:19 PM.

317.875.5250 - Indianapolis  |  202.628.1558 - Washington, D.C.

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