Among the scientists, policy makers, and natural resource experts speaking at November’s Preparing Minnesota for Climate Change: A Conference on Climate Adaptation, there’s a paper-pushing, tie-wearing insurance guy who’s become one of Minnesota’s most sought after experts on the costs of climate change.
Bob Johnson is the president of the Insurance Federation of Minnesota (IFM), a nonprofit state insurance trade association representing more than 50 insurance companies and other related organizations. Originally founded in 1914 to help insurers and policy holders navigate Minnesota’s worker’s compensation laws, the IFM spends much of its time these days representing insurance companies in the risky world of catastrophic insurance—the kind of insurance that protects homeowners against natural disasters such as floods, tornados, fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes.
Over the past few years, Johnson has increasingly been called upon by policy makers and politicians including Senator John Marty and former Senator Ellen Anderson to testify on Minnesota’s alarming insurance rate hikes due to natural disasters.
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June 2012's torrential rains devastated landscapes and wiped out the Highway 210 approach to the Thomson Bridge in Jay Cooke State Park, ten miles southwest of Duluth.
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