University of San Diego

San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law


Samantha Daily

Library of Congress Authority File


While some of the worlds governments and industries have taken action and enforced regulations attempting to mitigate the effects of climate change, the United States has been slow to join. An increasing number of groups and public figures in the United States, however, have started to strongly advocate for climate change policy reform including stricter laws and policies. The insurance sector is a group that can influence the United States to take actions to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The insurance industry comprises a significant part of the United States economy. In 2013, net premiums written for the property and casualty sector totaled $481.2 billion, total cash and invested assets in the property and casualty sector totaled $1.5 trillion, and the United States insurance industry employed 2.5 million people. The key to a United States policy change is through its wallet, and insurance companies are firmly in the American wallet. The insurance industry can use its economic power to influence the United States& state and federal to advocate for climate change policy reform. The insurance companies will likely voice their concerns on a small, local scale at first, but as the concerns accumulate the state, and eventually federal, governments will likely be persuaded to listen.
In this Comment, Part II discusses how an insurance company operates as a business. Part III describes how insurance companies have dealt with climate change thus far. Then Part IV evaluates how insurance companies can shift the burden off themselves as the main party economically responsible after climate change-related disaster by exploring what other entities can share the burden and under what reasoning. Lastly, Part V explains how the role of insurance companies in climate change litigation will be a driving force behind law and policy reform.