Responsible investment and underwriting

Managing risk well and ensuring our returns are sustainable means considering environmental and ethical considerations in our investment decisions and underwriting.

Why it matters

Increasingly, investors and other stakeholders believe that the most successful businesses take account of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) concerns in how they run their company. ESG covers a wide range of areas, such as whether a business uses energy responsibly, considers human rights issues and consumer welfare, or displays good checks and balances in the way it is run.

In addition to being the right thing to do, a positive approach to ESG issues is a good indicator of the overall quality of a business’s management practices, and therefore their likelihood of long-term success. We invest in and do business with organisations for whom ESG issues are a consideration. It’s important that we make informed decisions about where we invest our premiums and capital, and the types of risk we choose to underwrite.

Our approach

As a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) and a member of ClimateWise, we are committed to taking account of ESG criteria in both our underwriting and investment activities.

RSA operates in a global environment and we are frequently asked to provide insurance across borders. As part of maintaining an appropriate level of scrutiny for the work we do, our Underwriting policy promotes responsible practices, assessing potential customers in high risk sectors or locations against ESG criteria.

Our high risk country framework provides guidance and requirements to refer the writing of certain business or the payment of certain claims to a more senior level where a matter is linked to a country that RSA deems higher risk in certain regards. Similarly, our investment team works closely with our external fund managers to ensure we take account of ESG risks in the investment choices that we make. We use specialist data sets to ‘rate’ different investment options on the quality of their ESG management, so we can take account of this in our decision making.

Insuring renewable energy

We are committed to playing an active role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Our global renewables team underwrite renewable energy projects across the world. They work closely with manufacturers and developers to advise on the best approach for upcoming projects, reduce risks, and support claims.


RSA supported the Principles for Sustainable Insurance initiative to develop guiding principles and best practice for underwriters