Insuring a safe climate?

Just like the big banks, general insurance companies play a pivotal role in enabling fossil fuel expansions. They do this by providing the insurance that allows big fossil fuel projects to get off the ground and keep operating. Insurers also invest in fossil fuel companies through their considerable share portfolios.

Despite the extreme weather fueled by global warming hitting insurance company profits and threatening their entire business model, here in Australia all three major insurers (IAG, Suncorp and QBE) continue to support fossil fuels in some way:

  • Suncorp and QBE are still willing to provide insurance to oil and gas projects, while both have committed to not insuring new thermal coal projects and phasing out their thermal coal exposures in both underwriting and investments by 2025 and 2030 respectively.
  • IAG doesn’t provide insurance for fossil fuels, but is still invested in these dirty industries.

For more detail see our “where does your insurer stand” table below.

In case these company names are unfamiliar, please note IAG and Suncorp market themselves under various brands including:

  • IAG: NRMA, RACV, CGU, SGIO
  • Suncorp: AAMI, GIO, APIA, Just Car

Take action


Australia’s big insurance companies are making extreme payouts on extreme weather, but are still invested in the fossil fuel industry that is making climate change worse.

We’re calling on Australia’s major general insurers, IAG, QBE and Suncorp, to:

  • Rule out underwriting (insuring) any further oil and gas extraction, transportation and infrastructure projects and phase out undewriting exposure to oil and gas entirely;*
  • Divest from fossil fuel assets in its investment portfolio;
  • Advocate publicly and actively for policies that will rapidly reduce carbon emissions and phase out fossil fuel use; and
  • Educate customers about the effects of climate change on premiums, and participate in risk mitigation measures.

*QBE and Suncorp only – IAG doesn’t underwrite fossil fuel projects.

Find out more below:
INSUREROWNED BYFOSSIL FUEL INVESTMENTSFOSSIL FUEL UNDERWRITING (INSURING)
1st for WomenAuto and GeneralAuto and General has been contacted regarding its fossil fuel policies and has yet to reply.Auto and General has been contacted regarding its fossil fuel policies and has yet to reply.
AAMISuncorpInvests in coal, oil and gas companies but has announced it will no longer invest in new thermal coal projects. Has committed to its fossil fuel investments being “immaterial” by 2019. Has not provided a figure for what “immaterial” represents.Does insure oil and gas infrastructure and companies. Suncorp will no longer insure new thermal coal projects and will phase out its entire thermal coal exposure by 2025.
AllianzAllianzDoes invest in oil and gas companies. Has the following restrictions on coal investments: Allianz does not invest in companies that derive more than 30% of revenue from coal mining, generate over 30% of their energy from coal or are planning over 0.5GW of thermal coal capacity additions.Will no longer provide stand-alone insurance coverage for the construction and operation of coal-fired power plants or coal mines, but can still provide cover for coal companies for now. All insurance related to coal will be gradually phased out by 2040. Does underwrite oil and gas companies and infrastructure.
AM&TAllianzDoes invest in oil and gas companies. Has the following restrictions on coal investments: Allianz does not invest in companies that derive more than 30% of revenue from coal mining, generate over 30% of their energy from coal or are planning over 0.5GW of thermal coal capacity additions.Will no longer provide stand-alone insurance coverage for the construction and operation of coal-fired power plants or coal mines, but can still provide cover for coal companies for now. All insurance related to coal will be gradually phased out by 2040. Does underwrite oil and gas companies and infrastructure.
American Insurance Group (AIG)American Insurance Group (AIG)Invests in coal, oil and gas companies.Does insure coal, oil and gas infrastructure and companies.
ApiaSuncorpInvests in coal, oil and gas companies but has announced it will no longer invest in new thermal coal projects. Has committed to its fossil fuel investments being “immaterial” by 2019. Has not provided a figure for what “immaterial” represents.Does insure oil and gas infrastructure and companies. Suncorp will no longer insure new thermal coal projects and will phase out its entire thermal coal exposure by 2025.
AsteronSuncorpInvests in coal, oil and gas companies but has announced it will no longer invest in new thermal coal projects. Has committed to its fossil fuel investments being “immaterial” by 2019. Has not provided a figure for what “immaterial” represents.Does insure oil and gas infrastructure and companies. Suncorp will no longer insure new thermal coal projects and will phase out its entire thermal coal exposure by 2025.
BingleSuncorpInvests in coal, oil and gas companies but has announced it will no longer invest in new thermal coal projects. Has committed to its fossil fuel investments being “immaterial” by 2019. Has not provided a figure for what “immaterial” represents.Does insure oil and gas infrastructure and companies. Suncorp will no longer insure new thermal coal projects and will phase out its entire thermal coal exposure by 2025.
BudgetAuto and GeneralAuto and General has been contacted regarding its fossil fuel policies and has yet to reply.Auto and General has been contacted regarding its fossil fuel policies and has yet to reply.
CGUIAGInvests in coal, oil and gas companiesDoes not insure coal, oil or gas infrastructure or companies
ChubbChubbInvests in coal, oil and gas companies. Has committed to not make new debt or equity investments in companies that generate more than 30% of revenues from thermal coal mining or that generate more than 30% of energy production from coal.

Does insure coal, oil and gas infrastructure and companies.

Chubb will not underwrite risks related to the construction and operation of new coal-fired plants. Exceptions to this policy will be considered until 2022 (i) in regions that do not have practical near-term alternative energy sources, and (ii) taking into account the insured’s commitments to reduce coal dependence.

Coal mining.  Chubb will not underwrite new risks for companies that generate more than 30% percent of revenues from thermal coal mining.  Chubb will phase out coverage of existing risks that exceed this threshold by 2022.

Utilities.  Chubb will not underwrite new risks for companies that generate more than 30% of their energy production from coal.  Chubb will phase out coverage of existing risks that exceed this threshold beginning in 2022, taking into account the viability of alternative energy sources in the impacted region.

CILSuncorpInvests in coal, oil and gas companies but has announced it will no longer invest in new thermal coal projects. Has committed to its fossil fuel investments being “immaterial” by 2019. Has not provided a figure for what “immaterial” represents.Does insure oil and gas infrastructure and companies. Suncorp will no longer insure new thermal coal projects and will phase out its entire thermal coal exposure by 2025.
Club MarineAllianzDoes invest in oil and gas companies. Has the following restrictions on coal investments: Allianz does not invest in companies that derive more than 30% of revenue from coal mining, generate over 30% of their energy from coal or are planning over 0.5GW of thermal coal capacity additions.Will no longer provide stand-alone insurance coverage for the construction and operation of coal-fired power plants or coal mines, but can still provide cover for coal companies for now. All insurance related to coal will be gradually phased out by 2040. Does underwrite oil and gas companies and infrastructure.
ColesIAGInvests in coal, oil and gas companiesDoes not insure coal, oil or gas infrastructure or companies
Combined InsuranceChubbInvests in coal, oil and gas companiesDoes insure coal, oil or gas infrastructure or companies.
GIOSuncorpInvests in coal, oil and gas companies but has announced it will no longer invest in new thermal coal projects. Has committed to its fossil fuel investments being “immaterial” by 2019. Has not provided a figure for what “immaterial” represents.Does insure oil and gas infrastructure and companies. Suncorp will no longer insure new thermal coal projects and will phase out its entire thermal coal exposure by 2025.
HuddleHuddleDoes not invest in coal, oil or gas companiesDoes not insure coal, oil or gas infrastructure or companies
IAG (Insurance Australia Group Limited)IAGInvests in coal, oil and gas companiesDoes not insure coal, oil or gas infrastructure or companies
InsureMyRideSuncorpInvests in coal, oil and gas companies but has announced it will no longer invest in new thermal coal projects. Has committed to its fossil fuel investments being “immaterial” by 2019. Has not provided a figure for what “immaterial” represents.Does insure oil and gas infrastructure and companies. Suncorp will no longer insure new thermal coal projects and will phase out its entire thermal coal exposure by 2025.
IronshoreLiberty MutualInvests in coal, oil and gas companies.Does insure coal, oil and gas infrastructure and companies
Just CarSuncorpInvests in coal, oil and gas companies but has announced it will no longer invest in new thermal coal projects. Has committed to its fossil fuel investments being “immaterial” by 2019. Has not provided a figure for what “immaterial” represents.Does insure oil and gas infrastructure and companies. Suncorp will no longer insure new thermal coal projects and will phase out its entire thermal coal exposure by 2025.
Legal & GeneralLegal & GeneralInvests in coal, oil and gas. While it doesn’t have a divestment policy, it has started naming, shaming and divesting from what it considers “climate laggards”.Does not insure coal, oil or gas infrastructure or companies.
Liberty MutualLiberty MutualInvests in coal, oil and gas companies.Does insure coal, oil and gas infrastructure or companies.
LumleyIAGInvests in coal, oil and gas companiesDoes not insure coal, oil or gas infrastructure or companies
NRMAIAGInvests in coal, oil and gas companiesDoes not insure coal, oil or gas infrastructure or companies
OzicareAuto and GeneralAuto and General has been contacted regarding its fossil fuel policies and has yet to reply.Has been contacted regarding its fossil fuel policies and has yet to reply.
QBEQBEInvests in oil and gas companies. Has set a target to withdraw all direct investment in thermal coal companies (that generate over 30% of revenue from coal or generate over 30% of electricity generation with coal) by 1 July 2019, and introduce a 0.5% limit on indirect investment (e.g. index funds) thermal coal exposure.Does insure oil and gas infrastructure and companies. From 1 July 2019 QBE will refuse to insure new thermal coal mines, power stations and transport networks. It will phase out its entire thermal coal underwriting (insurance) business by 2030.
RACVIAGInvests in coal, oil and gas companiesDoes not insure coal, oil or gas infrastructure or companies
SGICIAGInvests in coal, oil and gas companiesDoes not insure coal, oil or gas infrastructure or companies
SGIOIAGInvests in coal, oil and gas companiesDoes not insure coal, oil or gas infrastructure or companies
ShannonsSuncorpInvests in coal, oil and gas companies but has announced it will no longer invest in new thermal coal projects. Has committed to its fossil fuel investments being “immaterial” by 2019. Has not provided a figure for what “immaterial” represents.Does insure oil and gas infrastructure and companies. Suncorp will no longer insure new thermal coal projects and will phase out its entire thermal coal exposure by 2025.
SuncorpSuncorpInvests in coal, oil and gas companies but has announced it will no longer invest in new thermal coal projects. Has committed to its fossil fuel investments being “immaterial” by 2019. Has not provided a figure for what “immaterial” represents.Does insure oil and gas infrastructure and companies. Suncorp will no longer insure new thermal coal projects and will phase out its entire thermal coal exposure by 2025.
SwannIAGInvests in coal, oil and gas companiesDoes not insure coal, oil or gas infrastructure or companies
Terri ScheerSuncorpInvests in coal, oil and gas companies but has announced it will no longer invest in new thermal coal projects. Has committed to its fossil fuel investments being “immaterial” by 2019. Has not provided a figure for what “immaterial” represents.Does insure oil and gas infrastructure and companies. Suncorp will no longer insure new thermal coal projects and will phase out its entire thermal coal exposure by 2025.
Territory Insurance OfficeAllianzDoes invest in oil and gas companies. Has the following restrictions on coal investments: Allianz does not invest in companies that derive more than 30% of revenue from coal mining, generate over 30% of their energy from coal or are planning over 0.5GW of thermal coal capacity additions.Will no longer provide stand-alone insurance coverage for the construction and operation of coal-fired power plants or coal mines, but can still provide cover for coal companies for now. All insurance related to coal will be gradually phased out by 2040. Does underwrite oil and gas companies and infrastructure.
TyndallSuncorpInvests in coal, oil and gas companies but has announced it will no longer invest in new thermal coal projects. Has committed to its fossil fuel investments being “immaterial” by 2019. Has not provided a figure for what “immaterial” represents.Does insure oil and gas infrastructure and companies. Suncorp will no longer insure new thermal coal projects and will phase out its entire thermal coal exposure by 2025.
VeroSuncorpInvests in coal, oil and gas companies but has announced it will no longer invest in new thermal coal projects. Has committed to its fossil fuel investments being “immaterial” by 2019. Has not provided a figure for what “immaterial” represents.Does insure oil and gas infrastructure and companies. Suncorp will no longer insure new thermal coal projects and will phase out its entire thermal coal exposure by 2025.
Virgin MoneyAuto and GeneralAuto and General has been contacted regarding its fossil fuel policies and has yet to reply.Auto and General has been contacted regarding its fossil fuel policies and has yet to reply.
WFIIAGInvests in coal, oil and gas companiesDoes not insure coal, oil or gas infrastructure or companies
YouiYouiHas not responded to inquiries regarding investmentsDoes not insure coal, oil or gas infrastructure or companies

Australia’s insurers need to get their house in order


Regulators, including APRA here in Australia, have started to wake up to “potentially system-wide” financial risks posed by climate change. They are calling on the insurance industry to take its rightful position as a leader in public discussion on the issue.

According to Tom Herbstein of Cambridge University’s insurance project ClimateWise, “climate change fundamentally challenges the existing insurance business model because it is rendering actuary analysis in many places obsolete.”

In 2018 IAG and the NZ Reserve Bank warned the effects of climate change will render huge swathes of the globe uninsurable. The same warning was made specifically for Townsville after its record-breaking floods in February 2019. According to Munich Re, during the three decades to 2012 Australian weather-related insurance losses rose fourfold. The world’s largest reinsurance company warned in March 2019 that global warming, fueled by the fossil fuel companies that Suncorp and QBE currently underwrite, is on track to make insurance unaffordable for low and average income earners in some regions, causing serious economic and social disruption.

The trend is clear. Without significant and urgent action in both climate change mitigation and adaptation, insurers face shrinking markets and growing and less predictable natural catastrophe claims.

Thanks to customer, shareholder and general community pressure, insurance companies are finally starting to shift away from supporting coal, oil and gas. QBE is ending its underwriting of new thermal coal projects in 2019 and will phase out its entire thermal coal business by 2030. Suncorp has also committed to end its underwriting of new thermal coal and will phase out all thermal coal exposure by 2025. IAG and Suncorp have claimed that they are divesting from fossil fuels in their investment portfolio – but are yet to provide the information to verify these claims.

In addition, after being missing in action on global warming for years, the Insurance Council of Australia, the peak body for the three big Australian insurers, has begun to criticise government inaction on the climate emergency. However, if the Insurance Council and its members want credibility on the issue, they need to urgently put in place plans for entirely phasing out their support for fossil fuels.

“A +4°C world is not insurable. As a global insurer and investor, we know that we have a key role to play.”Thomas Buberl, AXA CEO
International insurance companies divesting from coal

AG2R La Mondiale, Allianz, Axa, Aviva, Generali, Legal & General, Hannover Re, Lemonade Inc., Lloyd’s, Macif, MAPFRE, Munich Re, Nationale-Nederlanden, Natixis, Nippon Life, QBE, SCOR, Storebrand, Suncorp, Swiss Re, Zurich

International insurance companies restricting their underwriting of coal
  • Allianz
  • Axa
  • Chubb
  • Generali
  • Hannover Re
  • MAPFRE
  • Munich Re
  • Nationale-Nederlanden
  • QBE
  • SCOR
  • Suncorp
  • Swiss Re
  • Talanx
  • Uniqa
  • Vienna Insurance Group
  • Zurich

Learn more