UPDATE: Two more insurers drop Trans Mountain

May 24, 2022

Barely a week after Aspen Insurance cut ties with the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, a second insurer followed suit. Arch just became the eighteenth insurer to refuse coverage for the pipeline!

Before Trans Mountain successfully lobbied to keep the names of its insurers a secret, members of the Lloyd’s marketplace like Aspen and Arch were collectively known to be the pipeline’s biggest insurers – so this is a major blow for the project.

But we know we can’t slow down until every last insurer cuts ties with Trans Mountain, and some companies are still refusing to budge. With the insurance industry in the headlines right now for distancing itself from Trans Mountain, this is a critical moment to ramp up the pressure on the remaining insurers.

For anyone that needs reminding, the Trans Mountain Expansion Project would transport an additional 590,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day from Alberta to British Columbia and lead to a 700% increase in oil tankers in the Salish Sea, threatening coastal communities and endangered species. The Canadian government has been plowing ahead with construction in spite of the many Indigenous communities who never consented to the pipeline project being built through their territories. And the long term climate impact of burning more tar sands oil would affect all of us.

The good news: Right now the Trans Mountain pipeline is on shakier ground than it’s been on in years. Thanks to ongoing Indigenous and grassroots resistance, mass public opposition, and creative direct action, this pipeline is now a whopping four years behind schedule and nearly $17 billion over budget.

The Canadian government has since ruled out any more public financing of Trans Mountain and is looking for new investors to fund the completion of the project. And every insurer who refuses to be associated with the toxic pipeline sends a clear message to any potential investors and remaining insurers that this project is far too risky.

Two insurers dropping in less than two weeks is clear proof that our collective strategy is working – and it’s why it’s so important we keep up the momentum right now.

Knocking off every single one of Trans Mountain’s insurers and pushing for a transformation of the entire industry is not going to be easy – but with continued pressure and support from you, we’re not worried.

Trans Mountain thought it could stop us by keeping the names of its insurers a secret, but we just kept targeting the known insurers of the project, and we’re now at eighteen companies and counting who have cut ties with the pipeline. People power works, and these latest two victories on the insurance campaign are a clear testament to that.

We’re going after this pipeline from every angle: through political pathways, investor pressure, and in the insurance industry. During the last federal election in Canada we pushed hundreds of politicians to pledge to fight to cancel the pipeline. We’re continuing to keep the pressure on insurers like AIG and other Lloyd’s of London syndicates (AIG alone got over 54,000 emails and hundreds of phone calls from us all last week!). And now we’re scheming up a new plan to target future investors now that the government has ruled out further public funding to complete the project.

Without insurance, this pipeline can’t go ahead. And along the way, every single company who refuses to back the pipeline makes its future even more uncertain.