Cincinnati Global has become the 15th syndicate to commit to not insure or reinsure the existing Trans Mountain pipeline or expansion project, to the delight of climate activists.
In an email to Greenpeace Toronto, Cincinnati Global Underwriting’s CEO Derek Eales stated: “I can confirm that Cincinnati Global has no current involvement in the Trans Mountain Pipeline / Expansion project and will not offer any participation on an insurance or reinsurance basis in the future.”
Trans Mountain is currently looking to renew its insurance coverage by the end of the when its policy for the existing pipeline expires. In advance of that deadline, a global campaign was launched calling on insurers to rule out providing coverage. At the end of June, there were actions in more than 25 cities and towns across four continents calling on insurers to take action to stop insuring tar sands pipelines like Trans Mountain and respect Indigenous rights.
Lindsay Keenan, European Coordinator for Insure Our Future, said “Cincinnati Global’s commitment to not insure Trans Mountain should be a signal to the rest of the Lloyd’s market to follow suit. Lloyd’s Chair Bruce Carnegie-Brown needs to make a clear statement on behalf of all of Lloyd’s members that no Lloyd’s syndicate shall renew insurance for any aspect of the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline.”
In February 2021, the Canadian-owned Trans Mountain corporation petitioned the Canada Energy Regulator to keep the names of its insurers secret, stating that it had “observed increasing reluctance from insurance companies to offer insurance coverage for the Pipeline and to do so at a reasonable price.” The Canada Energy Regulator approved the request in April, and Trans Mountain’s most recent insurance certificate was publicly filed with the insurance company names redacted. Insurers listed on the most recent public certificate who are still believed to be insuring the pipeline include syndicates at Lloyd’s, Chubb, Liberty Mutual, and AIG.
Sven Biggs, Canadian Oil and Gas Program Director for Stand.earth said “Right now the impacts of climate change, wildfires, floods and heat waves, can be seen all around us. Insurance companies, like Cincinnati Global, know that climate change is bad for their bottom lines, as claims from extreme weather events continue to mount. The Trans Mountain pipeline would lead to the same amount of climate pollution as 21 new coal fired power plants and would be like adding more fuel to those fires. This pipeline is bad for the climate and it is bad for business.”
Construction of the massive tar sands pipeline is continuing in the face of sustained, Indigenous-led resistance, and surveillance of land defenders is increasing.
Mary Lovell, Insurance Campaign Coordinator at Rainforest Action Network said: “Fifteen insurers ruling out insurance for Trans Mountain pipeline is a major industry indicator. Insurers are experts in calculating the risk associated with climate change. With Trans Mountain’s cost overruns and years of delays, the company’s terrible record on Indigenous rights, and the rash of heatwaves and wildfires across the continent, this most recent wave of exits underscores that any tar sands expansion is uninsurable for any forward-looking business.”
Campaigners said if built, the Trans Mountain Expansion Project would transport an additional 590,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day from Alberta to British Columbia, and lead to a 700% increase in oil tankers in the Salish Sea.