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Insurers Blacklisting Areas Due to Climate Impact: Lessons for South Africa


This article appears on the COVER Magazine website

South Africa Fire

In this interview conducted by Tony of COVER Magazine, Bill Klehm, the chairman, and CEO of eBliss, discussed a pressing concern in the insurance industry – the practice of insurers blacklisting certain areas in the United States due to climate-related impacts.

The conversation highlighted the challenges brought about by climate change, the changing risk landscape, and the role of government in creating a sustainable future. While the focus was on the U.S., the interview holds valuable lessons for South Africa. Klehm emphasized the complex factors influencing insurers' decisions, like State Farm's choice to cease offering new Homeowners insurance policies in California due to extreme events like fires and floods caused by climate change. He stressed the importance of governments collaborating with the insurance industry and consumers to establish an effective framework for managing these evolving risks. Klehm called for a partnership that empowers insurers to diversify risks and pool resources across markets, drawing parallels to successful historical collaborations like the Apollo program.

The interview underscored the need for strategic cooperation to address the intricate issue of co-insurance, with insights applicable to South Africa's challenges as well. The conclusion called for unified efforts involving government, industry, and citizens to prioritize collective well-being and planetary health in the face of climate challenges, reminding us that solutions necessitate joint action for a resilient and sustainable future.

Listen to the interview below: