Big health insurers are distancing themselves from Obamacare like it’s a Baby Ruth in a public swimming pool but the non-profit group Ceres has identified the real looming threat to the health insurance industry.
Ceres identifies itself as “an advocate for sustainable leadership” with a mission to “mobilize investor and business leadership to build a thriving, sustainable global economy.”
We work with nearly 70 companies–across more than 20 sectors–committed to engaging with diverse stakeholders, improving their performance on social and environmental issues and disclosing strategies and progress publicly.
In some circles this is the kind of language used to describe what Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson do. Do as we say and we’ll leave you alone. Refuse us and we will make trouble for you publicly.
The group says that they were formed in response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill, so their priorities probably aren’t related to how well health insurance providers provide health insurance.
Ceres tells us that health insurers are not prepared to deal with climate change induced health issues. Market Watch reports on the “study” performed by Ceres.
The biggest health insurers in the U.S. show little understanding or concern about the risks to their business posed by climate change, even though warmer winters and springs are already causing spikes in conditions such as allergies, asthma and Lyme disease.
But wouldn’t those spikes be offset by a reduction in frostbite, injuries or heart attacks brought on by snow shoveling, ice related car accidents? Of course not because that wouldn’t fit the agenda, but your hay fever lasting an extra few weeks will bring the industry to its knees.
Ceres found that while property and casualty insurers and life and annuity insurers have made some progress in engaging with climate change and attempting to evaluate the risks to their business, health insurers appear to be in a state of denial.
“Every segment can improve, but health insurers are just not engaged much and that really came through in their disclosures,” said Max Messervy, manager of the Ceres insurance program and one of the authors of the report. “ A few actually said they do not believe climate change is a material business risk.”
Burn the witches.
The companies were evaluated on five core themes, including governance, climate risk management, the use of catastrophe modeling or other modeling to evaluate and manage risk, greenhouse gas management and stakeholder engagement. The latter includes the extent to which climate risk is discussed at board level and among senior managers, as well as external parties such as shareholders and regulators, and elected lawmakers, who could work on carbon-reducing legislation.
They are actually rating insurance companies on whether they lobby elected officials about reducing carbon emissions.
Property and casualty insurers demonstrated better awareness of and engagement with climate risk, to which they are exposed through policies written for homeowners, cars and businesses. Disasters such as the recent Hurricane Matthew can be expensive for those companies as they pay up for damage to homes, vehicles and commercial properties.
Imagine that. Property insurers concern themselves with weather related disasters. That’s what they do. It is one of the primary reasons their industry even exists. The presumption that any weather related issue is a sign of “engagement with climate risk” is a little ridiculous. The climate alarmist faith has done an efficient job of evangelizing. Note how the reporter casually treats Hurricane Matthew and climate change as practically interchangeable.
I don’t know about you but Ceres “helping” insurance companies this way has “shakedown” written all over it.