Pacific Standard: Can Insurance Help Californians Recover from Natural Disasters?

September 19, 2018

By Sophie Yeo

California is set to be the first state to insure its natural environment against disasters linked to climate change.

Senate Bill 30, introduced by Democratic State Senator Ricardo Lara, will establish a working group to discuss how to insure assets such as wetlands and forests, providing everyday maintenance as well as funds for a swift payout to restore these natural landscapes following a disaster.

"We are behind other countries actually when it comes to engaging our insurance community in our united front against climate change," Lara says. "Just like home insurance requires you to keep a roof or foundation in good shape, climate insurance can encourage healthy environments." In the United Kingdom, for instance, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has spearheaded the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, an international effort to reduce financial risks that has reached out to the insurance industry (former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the chair of the group).

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