A listener reached out recently asking how to find an insurance company that isn’t engaged in a sordid love affair with ESG scores. The short answer is — it’s not easy. I did a quick search for some of the most common insurers, and most of them are openly bragging about their commitment to ESG.
I can’t tell you which insurance company you should use, because every situation is unique, and besides, I’m just a 26-year-old who is doing all of this for the first time, remember?
BUT, I have become a certified ESG supersleuth, and I would love to share with you my findings and teach you my sleuthy ways.
First, a bit of bad news. In just a quick search, I was able to find multiple insurance companies proclaiming their fealty to ESG scores.
“Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors increasingly influence Allstate’s strategy, guide its management of risks and opportunities, and drive long-term enterprise value creation.”
“State Farm has a long-standing commitment to excellence in environmental, social and governance (ESG) areas of our work. In 2020, we made a concerted effort to more holistically place ESG activities at the forefront of our business strategy and everyday practices.”
“Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives have been an integral part of our business throughout our 84-year history and here, in our second annual Corporate Sustainability Report, we showcase ESG’s fundamental value to Progressive.”
“USAA Real Estate has a reputation for excellence in customer service and taking a leadership role in the real estate industry. As part of our commitment to excellence, we will identify and implement improved financial and operational efficiencies, striving toward world-class status in environmental, social and governance performance. ESG will play an important role in our efforts to achieve our strategic objective.”
“Addressing ESG issues isn’t new to us. In 2022, we will mark our 110th anniversary and we are more motivated than ever to continue making a difference as we tackle the world’s most pressing environmental, social and economic challenges. As the world around us continues to transform at a rapid pace, I have never been more confident in our ability to harness the full resources of our company to deliver for our customers, partners, employees and communities.”
“We take responsible investing seriously and use environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors to inform our investments approach.”
(This is not a comprehensive list of ALL companies who embrace ESG scores.)
That’s the bad news. But the good news is, anyone with the internet and some patience can become an ESG supersleuth as I have, and then we can work together to expose what we find.
It all begins with a search engine. I searched phrases like:
- (Name of Insurance Company) ESG
- (Name of Insurance Company) commitment to ESG
- CEO of (Name of Insurance Company) on ESG’s
- (Name of CEO) on ESG’s
- (Name of Insurance Company) Corporate Sustainability Report
- (Name of Insurance Company) governance/environmental/social standards
(Note: Many insurance companies are owned by parent companies. You may want to check those out too.)
Unlike years ago, when these standards were kept on the DL, lots of companies had super obvious pro-ESG statements at the top of the webpage.
Other times, it took a bit more persistence.
If it was a long webpage, I would just copy it over to a word document and then search for “ESG” or “Governance” or something of the like.
I was able to do my search totally online. But, if you find calls to be more successful for you, then remember when you call to be excessively clear about what you're asking. For example, you don’t want to know if the company has been assigned an ESG score, because they don’t control that. You want to know if their company uses an ESG framework to make decisions. Also, remember what your Grandma taught you—you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Remember what your Grandma taught you—you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Let me be totally real with you.
At the end of my search, I don’t feel that I have any perfect options. I have an idea of which companies to avoid, which counts for something, but which companies to pursue is still a bit of a mystery.
Maybe there isn’t a perfect option for me right now.
In this process, I’m learning that sometimes the right thing is all mixed up with some of the wrong things. When there is no perfect option. I just have to go with the best course of action I have at the time.
Although we know that ESG and other Great Reset accouterments have been in the works for a while now, I feel like this all came up out of nowhere and is suddenly boxing me in from every side. That makes me want to fix everything at once, but I can’t.
I still try though.
We all have to be patient with ourselves and unravel this mess the same way it was built – slowly and one move at a time.
There won’t be a one-size-fits-all solution because the solution itself is decentralization. There won’t be one bank, one investment, one agency, one farmer's market, or one legislation that solves everything at once.
We each journey on individual paths toward the same goal.
Stuck on a lack of insurance options? Speak out: tell the companies how you feel (remember Grandma’s advice.) Or, If you’re not the type to do that, then try working on your investments. If that doesn’t work, make an effort to get you and your family into a local bank you trust. If you can’t do that, meet your neighbors.
What else can we be doing? (Seriously, I want to know.)
Also, insurance-minded folks, I am seeing a major opportunity here... just saying.