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NYDFS issues final guidance for insurers on climate change financial risks

State Issues State Regulators NYDFS Insurance Climate-Related Financial Risks Risk Management Bank Regulatory

State Issues

On November 15, NYDFS issued final guidance to New York regulated-domestic insurers on managing climate change-related financial risks. The final guidance reflects the agency’s consideration of stakeholder comments from proposed guidance issued in March, and was informed by NYDFS’s collaboration with the insurance industry and international regulators. Building on a 2020 insurance circular letter addressing climate change and financial risks, the final guidance outlines expectations that insurers begin “integrating the consideration of the financial risks from climate change into their governance frameworks, business strategies, risk management processes and scenario analysis, and developing their approach to climate-related financial disclosure.” Specifically, an insurer should (i) incorporate into its governance structure, at either “the group or insurer entity level,” climate-risk considerations; (ii) consider current and forward-looking climate-related implications on its operations through “time horizons” appropriately tailored to the insurer’s activities and decisions; (iii) incorporate in its current financial risk management framework analyses of the effect of climate risks on existing risk factors; (iv) employ scenario analysis to inform business strategy decisions, risk assessments, and identification; and (v) disclose its climate risks and engage with NYDFS’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures when developing climate disclosure approaches. NYDFS will monitor insurers’ progress in implementing these expectations with respect to organizational structures, which insurers must have in place by August 15, 2022. The NYDFS noted it will provide further guidance on timing for implementing “the more complex expectations outlined in the guidance.”

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