Insurers Take Wait-And-See Approach To Climate Change Suits

By Bibeka Shrestha (May 21, 2014, 9:10 PM EDT) -- Illinois Farmers Insurance Co. recently launched nine proposed class actions arguing that hundreds of Illinois municipalities were to blame for storm losses because they were ill-prepared for climate change — unprecedented litigation with class certification hurdles and other thorny issues that will have to be sorted out before other insurers pursue copycat claims.

Farmers kicked off the novel litigation on behalf of property insurers and those who suffered property and economic losses during heavy rainstorms over two days in April 2013 that overwhelmed stormwater sewer systems. According to the insurer, Illinois cities knew that climate change has brought about more intense storms,...

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