The growing role of ESG in the insurance industry

Industry experts share their insights

The growing role of ESG in the insurance industry

ESG has become a hot topic in the insurance industry, with companies taking a proactive approach to understanding the link between ESG profiles and risk.

In a recent roundtable discussion by Insurance Business TV, industry experts discussed the growing role of ESG within the insurance space, highlighting this development in recent years.

Craig Stewart, vice president of climate change and federal issues at the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), noted how ESG has become a significant issue across all lines of the insurance industry.

With climate-related losses reaching $19 billion and ESG risks impacting property lines, he said insurers have taken a leading role in advocating for climate adaptation and other ESG issues.

“We’ve been at the table across the country with governments, really pushing for investments to reduce risk, particularly on the property side,” Stewart said, adding that insurers are now also being seen as a “very credible voice around climate policy.”

Meanwhile, Kristin Kraeger, managing director and chief brokering officer in the financial services group at Aon, noted that ESG has become a central topic in conversations with clients, especially considering recent regulatory developments and increased investor scrutiny.

“It is a topic that is both systemic to the business and relevant for our clients to address with D&O underwriters in particular, as well as other lines,” she said. “We see insurers focused on it as we prepare our clients for renewal strategies in all lines, and it's important for clients to be able to explain where they are in their journey.”

Court Elliot, SVP of corporate affairs at Aviva, also discussed how sustainability has been central to the company's business, citing a roadmap to reach net-zero emissions by 2040.

“We hear directly from the top of our organization, that sustainability, it's not an afterthought, it is for us a central pillar of our business,” he said. “And it's directly linked to how we serve our customers, how we develop our products, the way we operate, it's all part of it now.”

Learn more about the role of ESG in the insurance industry and listen to the full roundtable discussion here.

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