PIRG delivers more than 10k petition signatures to Travelers shareholder meeting

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HARTFORD, Conn. — Consumer advocates from PIRG on Wednesday delivered a petition bearing more than 10,000 signatures to The Travelers Companies’ Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The signers are urging the insurance company to stop putting investors and consumers at risk by underwriting new fossil fuel production. 

“It makes no sense for a company that insures homes and vehicles against severe weather events to underwrite coal, oil and gas projects that exacerbate climate change,” said Mike Litt, consumer campaign director at PIRG. “By providing insurance for new fossil fuel projects, Travelers contributes to the very risk it is insuring against.” 

Green Century Capital Management, PIRG’s affiliated environmentally-responsible registered investment advisor, re-filed a previous shareholder proposal with Travelers in December, asking it to stop underwriting new fossil fuel projects. Travelers failed to change its policies after a similar proposal was filed last year. 

PIRG’s petition, addressed to Travelers CEO Alan D. Schnitzer, reads as follows:

“Investors whose portfolios include stocks in your company could suffer meaningful losses due to climate risks fueled by your insurance coverage of new oil and gas supplies.

“By insuring the expansion of fossil fuel projects, you are increasing the likelihood of insured losses from climate change-related natural disasters, which in turn puts your shareholders’ retirement savings and other investments at risk of losses too. Severe weather events can result not only in property owners’ deaths, injuries, property loss, property damage or diminished property values, but also higher insurance premiums for consumers.

“I urge you to protect investors and consumers from undue risk and stop insuring new fossil fuel supplies.”

PIRG released a fact sheet in January highlighting how Travelers and two other major U.S. insurance companies, Chubb and The Hartford, contribute to the risks outlined in the petition.

“It’s not just investors who are put at risk. Travelers is putting the financial well-being of homeowners, retirees, investors and small businesses all at risk,” said Litt.

PIRG is not a registered investment adviser. PIRG is not providing any investment advice to any recipient of this communication.