QBE becomes first non-European insurer to restrict coal underwriting

Australia’s largest insurer, QBE, has announced a coal exclusion policy – the first non-European insurer to restrict coal underwriting.

It will now stop insuring new thermal coal mines, power plants and transport networks from 1 July this year, and will shut down its thermal coal underwriting business by 2030.

In addition, it will also withdraw all direct investment in companies that generate more than 30% of their revenue from thermal coal from 1 July, and introduce a 0.5% limit on indirect investments through managed funds.

The announcement today has been welcomed by environmental finance group Market Forces.

“QBE's decision to withdraw insurance from the coal industry is business and environmental good sense,” Market Forces campaigner Pablo Brait said.

“Having paid out $12.2bn on natural catastrophe and large individual risk claims since 2011, QBE is on the frontline of climate change impacts. As the coal industry is unrepentantly a major cause of the problem, it stands to reason major insurers would withdraw their support.”

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