The Travelers Companies, Inc. (Co.) | Additional Disclosure of Lobbying at The Travelers Companies, Inc. (Co.)

52.74% votes in favour
AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Governance
ESG sub-theme
  • Lobbying / political engagement
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
the shareholders of Travelers request the preparation of a report, updated annually, disclosing:
1. Company policy and procedures governing lobbying, including indirect, and grassroots lobbying communications.
2. Payments by Travelers used for (a) direct or indirect lobbying or (b) grassroots lobbying communications, in each case including the amount of the payment and the recipient.
3. Description of management’s decision-making process and the Board’s oversight for making payments described in section 2 above.
For purposes of this proposal, a “grassroots lobbying communication” is a communication directed to the general public that (a) refers to specific legislation or regulation, (b) reflects a view on the legislation or regulation and (c) encourages the recipient of the communication to take action with respect to the legislation or regulation. “Indirect lobbying” is lobbying engaged in by a trade association or other organization of which Travelers is a member. Both “direct and indirect lobbying” and “grassroots lobbying communications” include efforts at the local, state and federal levels.
The report shall be presented to the Nominating and Governance Committee and posted on Travelers’ website.
Whereas clause
We believe in full disclosure of Travelers’ lobbying activities and expenditures to assess whether Travelers’ lobbying is consistent with its expressed goals and in shareholder best interests.
Supporting statement
We appreciate that Travelers enhanced its disclosures regarding lobbying policies and procedures and direct lobbying spending in 2018. The Company spent $34,945,000 from 2010 – 2020 on federal lobbying. Travelers’ total annual expenditure for state lobbying was reported as $572,386.38 in 2020, but state-by-state disclosures are uneven and limited website links in those states that require reporting.
We are concerned that unlike peers AIG, Allstate and Hartford Financial, Travelers does not disclose its memberships in, or payments to, trade associations and social welfare organizations, or the amounts used for lobbying, including grassroots. Grassroots lobbying is not reported at the federal level under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, and disclosure is uneven or absent in states. Companies can give unlimited amounts to third party groups that spend millions on lobbying and undisclosed grassroots activity, and these groups may be spending “at least double what’s publicly reported.”1 Travelers is reportedly a member of the Chamber of Commerce and belongs to the Business Roundtable, which together have spent over $2 billion on federal lobbying since 1998.
A 2020 report2 looking at 30 international insurance companies for fossil fuel and climate change policies ranked Travelers last, including scoring negatively on climate leadership because they actively participate in lobbying organizations that oppose climate efforts. This includes the Chamber, who opposed the Paris climate agreement. As a large property and casualty insurer, Travelers is exposed to many risks from climate change and supported the Paris climate agreement. We are concerned that Travelers’ lack of disclosure presents reputational risk when its lobbying contradicts company public positions. Insurance companies have also attracted scrutiny for reportedly working on model state legislation to limit their exposure to billions of dollars in asbestos litigation.3

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