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World’s foremost insurers to not cover Adani’s Carmichael coal mine

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World Coal,

10 of the world’s foremost insurance companies will not provide support to develop the controversial Carmichael coal mine in Australia, following the lead set by many global financial institutions, the Unfriend Coal campaign revealed on 20 December.

Companies that have explicitly refused to insure the mine or have previously pledged not to provide cover for new coal projects include the world’s biggest insurers and reinsurers, Allianz, AXA, Swiss Re and Munich Re; two of Australia’s largest infrastructure insurers, QBE and Suncorp; the first major US insurer to take action on coal, FM Global; as well as major European insurers Generali, Zurich and SCOR.

Other major insurers have not ruled out insuring the project, such as Hannover Re, Berkshire Hathaway and AIG.

However, Adani has already been turned down by at least one from this group. UK-based Beazley would not rule out insuring the project, but said: "We do not have direct involvement having declined the risk when it was presented earlier this year."

Adani was forced to announce last month that it would self-finance the US$1.5 billion project after more than 37 global financial institutions, including all Australia’s major banks, publicly rejected any involvement with the mine. The company’s move puts insurers in the spotlight because the mine cannot be built or operated without insurance.

On 6 December, 73 organisations representing a combined membership of more than 76 million people sent an open letter to 30 leading insurers calling on them to publicly rule out insuring the mine and rail project in the light of its climate, environmental and social impacts.

By the deadline of Friday 14 December, five companies had explicitly pledged not to provide insurance, AXA and Scor (France), FM Global (US), QBE and Suncorp (Australia); five have existing policies that exclude insuring the mine, Allianz and Munich Re (Germany), Swiss Re and Zurich (Switzerland), and Generali (Italy); while four companies would not commit to refusing insurance, Lloyd’s and Beazley (UK), Hannover Re (Germany) and Starr (US). However, Lloyd’s, Beazley and Starr did note that they are not currently involved in the project.

16 insurers with no policies on coal insurance have yet to respond: AIG, Axis Capital, Berkshire Hathaway, Great American Insurance, Liberty Mutual, Markel Corporation and WR Berkley (US); Canopius, Chaucer, and CNA Hardy (UK); Chubb (Switzerland); Hamilton Insurance Group (Bermuda); HDI (Germany); Mapfre (Spain); and Sompo and Tokio Marine (Japan).

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Australia coal news