Kolkata: London-based AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd, a $ 5.6 billion global cover company specialising in reinsurance and insurance has updated its cover policy to exclude thermal coal and oil sands-related underwriting and investments.

According to a statement made by the cover giant, as part of its new underwriting policy, AXIS will not provide new insurance or facultative reinsurance for construction of new thermal coal plants or mines and their dedicated infrastructure from January 2020.

It will stay away from oil sands extraction, related pipeline projects and their dedicated infrastructure. Companies that generate 30% or more of their revenues from thermal coal mining, or those that generate 30% or more of their power from thermal coal, or hold more than 20% of their reserves in oil sands will not be covered by the AXIS group.

“Renewals, however, according to the policy statement, will be considered on a case-by-case basis until January 1, 2023,” the company said in a statement. “Exceptions to this policy may be considered on a limited basis until January 1, 2025, in countries where sufficient access to alternative energy sources are not available.”

As part of the policy, AXIS will not make new investments in companies that generate 30% or more of their revenues from thermal coal mining, or companies that generate 30% or more of their power from thermal coal, or hold more than 20% of their reserves in oil sands.

With the announcement, AXIS joins a growing list of global insurers refusing to insure coal projects, including AXA SA, Allianz, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co, Munich Re, Swiss Re and Australia’s QBE and Suncorp. It also brings the total count to 29 global insurers that have enacted formal coal insurance restrictions and associated divestments across their investment portfolios. European insurers, UNIQA of Austria and MAPFRE of Spain, and French asset manager, BNP Paribas, brought in new restrictions on thermal coal financing, insurance and investments during March 2019.

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AXIS’ revised policy is a component of a broader corporate citizenship program led by AXIS General Counsel Conrad Brooks, and overseen by AXIS President and CEO Albert Benchimol and Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee of the AXIS board of directors. The program focuses on four key areas: environment, diversity & inclusion, philanthropy and advocacy.

“We believe insurers have an important role to play in mitigating climate risk and transitioning to a low-carbon economy” said Benchimol in a statement. “This policy is in line with our broader strategies such as reducing investments in lines that do not align with our long-term approach; investing in growth areas, such as Renewable Energy insurance where we are a top-five global player; and growing our corporate citizenship program, a core focus of which is creating a positive environmental impact.”

Brooks said, “We strive to ensure that every business decision we make is guided by our corporate values, and we believe this new thermal coal and oil sands policy is the right thing to do for our planet and our business.”

AXIS Capital, through its operating subsidiaries, is a global provider of specialty lines insurance and treaty reinsurance with shareholders’ equity at June 30, 2019, of $ 5.6 billion and locations in Bermuda, the United States, Europe, Singapore, Canada, Latin America and the Middle East.





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