Huff Post Explains the Insurance Business to Warren Buffett

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Warren Buffett doesn’t understand the insurance industry; Or so suggests the Huffington Post, in a rather hysterical critique of Buffett’s lukewarm acceptance of climate dogma.

Buffett’s case against the resolution boils down to this: “Thinking only as a shareholder of a major insurer, climate change should not be on your list of worries.”

First, he said, his company can handle any possible losses thanks to rising premiums. Because insurance policies are typically written for one year and repriced annually, Buffett’s company can hike premiums to better account for the heightened risk of climate change-driven losses.

Second, Buffett asserts that climate change has produced neither “more frequent nor more costly hurricanes nor other weather-related events covered by insurance.”

But eight of the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history, in terms of insured losses, have occurred since 2000, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Nine of the 10 costliest floods in U.S. history, when measured by payouts from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program, also have occurred since 2000, according to the insurance group.

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Buffet, Climate Change and Pascal’s Wager

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Legendary businessman Warren Buffet has waded into the climate issue, with his latest letter to Berkshire Hathaway investors. Buffet seems to believe climate change is likely to be a serious issue – but he is cautious about this belief. Naturally everyone is interpreting Buffet’s words to suit their own position.

I am writing this section because we have a proxy proposal regarding climate change to consider at this year’s annual meeting. The sponsor would like us to provide a report on the dangers that this change might present to our insurance operation and explain how we are responding to these threats.

It seems highly likely to me that climate change poses a major problem for the planet. I say “highly likely” rather than “certain” because I have no scientific aptitude and remember well the dire predictions of most “experts” about Y2K. It would be foolish, however, for me or anyone to demand 100% proof of huge forthcoming damage to the world if that outcome seemed at all possible and if prompt action had even a small chance of thwarting the danger.

This issue bears a similarity to Pascal’s Wager on the Existence of God. Pascal, it may be recalled, argued that if there were only a tiny probability that God truly existed, it made sense to behave as if He did because the rewards could be infinite whereas the lack of belief risked eternal misery.

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