Saturday, August 10, 2013

From the horse's mouth

The insurance business is the business of assessing risk. Regardless of what is being insured, a successful insurer is one that analyzes the risk of having to pay out benefits, and then adjusts coverage rates to make sure more money is coming in than is going out. The more accurate the assessment of risk, the more financially successful an insurance company tends to be. Insurance focuses exclusively on the dollars and cents of actuarial analyses, and it bases prices on data and empiricism.

The insurance industry's official think tank, the Geneva Association, has issued a study documenting “a significant upward trend in the insured losses caused by extreme weather events.” It concluded that the insurance industry should fight back against attempts to downplay climate change fears and “play an active role in raising awareness of risk and climate change.” It also called for a “transition to a low-carbon economy” and “the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions” because that “will ultimately create a more resilient society.”

No doubt the vested interests of the climate change deniers will claim that the insurance companies are just another example of left-wing bias. Socialists, however, will claim that the insurance companies are also in denial, by believing a leopard can change its spots, that capitalism can change its primary directives - accumulate profit regardless of the social and environmental costs.

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