Friday, 22 November 2019

“ARTE GENERALI”, THE NEW INSURANCE OFFER DEDICATED TO ART COLLECTORS



Generali presented  Arte Generali, an innovative global business unit that positions itself as an insurance partner to art collectors. Arte Generali was first announced in occasion of the Group’s Investor Day in November 2018. Arte Generali offers innovative and personalized solutions that go beyond insurance coverage for art pieces, jewelry and other valuable belongings and include assistance in the form of, for example, restoration, transport and storage, as well as digital tools that make use of the latest technology.

The new global unit is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and reports to Giovanni Liverani, CEO of Generali Deutschland and global sponsor of Arte Generali. The central hub supports local underwriting and claims management teams empowered by unmatched services and cutting-edge technology.

Arte Generali is inspired by the Group’s aim to expand its value proposition to customers - as part of its “profitable growth” strategic pillar - by entering the art insurance segment. Generali expects that the global art value will increase by more than 20% from 2017 to 2022 and that the art insurance revenues world-wide will rise by 6% yearly on average over the same period to reach $2.3 billion. Arte Generali aspires to become a top-three player in the global art insurance segment in five years.

Philippe Donnet, Generali Group CEO, said: “I am very glad to announce the launch of Arte Generali, a milestone in the execution of Generali 2021. With Arte Generali, we start a new chapter in Generali’s history within the insurance industry. Furthermore, Arte Generali resonates strongly with Generali’s expertise, legacy and DNA as it can build on the Group’s leadership in terms of technical insurance performance and on its tradition as a patron to the arts and the culture.”

Giovanni Liverani, CEO of Generali Deutschland and member of the Group Management Committee, said: “Arte Generali will complement Generali’s offering across all geographies and provide innovative solutions and service to meet the highest expectations while tapping into a growing market. I am very glad for the support of two world-class artists like Oliviero Toscani and Maurizio Cattelan as testimonials of this venture.”

Jean Gazançon has been appointed Arte Generali’s CEO. A graduate of Sciences Po, Jean brings extensive international experience developed in Europe, Japan and Latin America in the fields of art, art insurance and wealth management.

THE COLLABORATION WITH OLIVIERO TOSCANI AND MAURIZIO CATTELAN

Arte Generali’s image was created and developed by the world-famous photographer Oliviero Toscani in collaboration with Maurizio Cattelan, one of the most popular and iconic contemporary artists worldwide.

Oliviero Toscani said: “It was with great pleasure that I joined again the Generali Group and face this exciting challenge with Arte Generali’s team of passionate and competent leaders, with whom I feel strongly in sync. Generali is one of the most trusted names in the insurance industry in Europe and across the world – a name that reminds me of Italy, tradition, history, culture and art. Arte Generali’s image aims to reinforce these perceptions while leaving a meaningful memory in the viewers’ eyes and brains.”

Maurizio Cattelan said: “Arte Generali’s brand campaign juxtaposes the risk run by art collectors of their art pieces being stolen with the metaphorical act of stealing that every artist commits. My whole career has been based on the non-existence of originality – in other words, the ability to invent by adding to something that has been invented already, or the ability to elicit unexpected emotions by triggering emotions that one felt already before.”

Allianz partners with Microsoft to digitally transform the insurance industry


Allianz COO Christof Mascher (left) with Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP and President of Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations

Allianz SE and Microsoft Corp. announced a strategic partnership focused on digitally transforming the insurance industry, making the insurance process easier while creating a better experience for insurance companies and their customers. Through the strategic partnership, Allianz will move core pieces of its global insurance platform, Allianz Business System (ABS), to Microsoft’s Azure cloud and will open-source parts of the solution’s core to improve and expand capabilities.

Syncier will offer a configurable version of the solution called ABS Enterprise Edition to insurance providers as a service, allowing them to benefit from one of the most advanced and comprehensive insurance platforms in the industry, reducing costs and centralizing their insurance portfolio management. This will increase efficiencies across all lines of insurance business, resulting in better experiences through tailored customer service and simplified product offerings. 

“Teaming up with Microsoft and leveraging Azure’s secure and trusted cloud platform will support us in digitalizing the insurance industry,” said Christof Mascher, COO and member of the Board of Management of Allianz SE. “Through this partnership, Allianz and Syncier strive to offer one of the most advanced Insurance as a Service solutions on Microsoft Azure. The ABS Enterprise Edition is an exciting opportunity, both for larger insurers needing to replace their legacy IT, and smaller players – such as insurtechs – looking for a scalable insurance platform.”
“Allianz is setting the standard for insurance solutions globally,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP and president, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing & Operations. “Together, Microsoft and Allianz are offering a solution that combines Allianz’s deep knowledge of the insurance sector with Microsoft’s trusted Azure cloud platform. By delivering an open-source, cloud-based insurance platform and software application marketplace, we will support innovation and transformation across this sector.”
Syncier’s ABS Enterprise Edition can handle insurance processes across all lines of business: property and casualty, life, health, and assistance. It can be customized for any insurance company, country and regulatory requirements. Insurers, brokers and agents adopting the platform can service clients and manage entire portfolios end to end in one system, gaining a unique 360-degree view of each client and the business.
To accelerate industry innovation, Syncier will also offer an Azure cloud-based marketplace for ready-made software applications and services tailored to the insurance sector. Such solutions could include, for example, customer service chatbots or AI-based fraud detection. The marketplace enables insurance providers to easily and quickly implement the available solutions in a plug-and-play manner.
Allianz uses ABS globally as a platform for all lines of business and along with Microsoft is committed to supporting the ABS Enterprise Edition long term as an industry solution. Today, ABS handles around 60 million insurance policies in 19 countries and is being rolled out to all Allianz entities.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

New publication profiles insurers’ role in combatting insurance fraud




Insurance Europe has  published a new booklet entitled: Insurance fraud: not a victimless crime. The publication profiles the various measures that insurers are taking to combat insurance fraud, which is second only to tax fraud in most common forms of fraud globally. It is also worth noting that this week is International Fraud Awareness Week. 
The booklet also provides an estimate of the scale of the problem in the EU. According to estimates from Insurance Europe’s members, insurance fraud in the EU stood at approximately €13bn in 2017.
The nature of insurance fraud is constantly evolving, shaped by the technology at the fraudsters’ disposal. For example, in recent years, cyber-enabled fraud has become more prevalent as more insurance business is conducted online.
The booklet also outlines the many negative consequences of insurance fraud. For example, honest consumers face higher insurance premiums and their insurers have less capacity to deal with genuine claims quickly. Certain types of fraud put human lives at risk, such as “crashes for cash” or fraud-related arson, meaning that insurance fraud also puts a strain on society’s resources. And fraudsters are often linked to organised crime, so insurance fraud funds and facilitates other serious crime.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

National competent authorities comply or intend to comply with EIOPA’s recommendations to the insurance sector on UK withdrawal from EU



The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has today published the responses from national competent authorities on their compliance, intention to comply  or non-compliance with the recommendations set out in EIOPA's 'Recommendations for the insurance sector in light of the United Kingdom withdrawing from the European Union.'
According to the information received, all national competent authorities comply or intend to comply with almost all recommendations.
The recommendations were addressed to national competent authorities of European Economic Area countries except the United Kingdom with the goal of minimising detriment to policyholders in the event of no withdrawal agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
The recommendations covered nine different areas including orderly run-off, portfolio transfer, change in the habitual residence or establishment of the policyholder, authorisation of third country branches, lapse of authorisation, cooperation between national competent authorities, communication to policyholders and beneficiaries, and distribution activities.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Joint response provided to EIOPA stress testing discussion paper published



Insurance Europe has today published a joint response with the CFO and CRO Fora to a consultation by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) on its discussion paper on methodological principles of insurance stress testing.
The industry called on EIOPA to ensure that the objectives of future stress testing exercises are clearly defined and articulated. In particular, the industry highlighted that stress testing must not be used as a parallel to Solvency II and should not be designed or used in a manner which leads to an amplification of capital requirements.
The industry further called for the approach, scope and specifications of future exercises to be proportionate to its objective. It requested a reduced frequency of exercises and improvements in the planning and timelines to alleviate the burden on industry. Further standardisation of some operational aspects and extended use of insurers' existing tools and expertise were also suggested as improvements.
Finally, the industry reiterated that the calculation of the post-stress solvency capital requirement is not necessary to achieve EIOPA's financial stability mandate and that the results of stress test exercises should continue, as in previous years, to be published at aggregate level.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Joint response to EIOPA reporting and disclosures consultation published



Insurance Europe has today published a joint response with the CFO and CRO Fora to a consultation by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) on its proposals for the Solvency II 2020 review package on supervisory reporting and public disclosure, which themselves come in response to a call for advice by the European Commission.
The industry said it fully supports EIOPA’s intention to propose "a material reduction in the scope of quarterly reporting" and for "an increased proportionality of supervisory reporting and public disclosure". However, while EIOPA’s proposals include some potentially helpful concepts, it will not achieve its intentions because EIOPA has also introduced significant additional reporting and proposed changes to existing templates. This means that EIOPA’s current proposals would in fact lead to an increase in the overall burden. Furthermore, it provided no evidence that the costs of all the new reporting or changes are justified by sufficient benefits.
Therefore, EIOPA’s proposed changes need improving to: ensure any new reporting is useful and proportionate and avoid proposals that would lead to an overall increase rather than decrease in both the cost and the burden of reporting. The industry also urged EIOPA to consider the cost/benefit of increased reporting requirements and of making changes to existing templates.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Insurers oppose EU wide initiative on insurance guarantee schemes



Insurance Europe has said it opposes an EU initiative on insurance guarantee schemes (IGS), in response to a consultation by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) on the topic.
IGS at member state level currently vary significantly across Europe, but generally work well within their local context and laws. Insurance Europe warned that even a minimum level of harmonisation would create significant costs and involve complex challenges for which there may not be acceptable solutions.
The priority for policymakers should instead be to ensure that Solvency II is applied appropriately in all member states and that there is coordinated supervision of insurers working cross border under the principles of Freedom of Services (FoS) and Freedom of Establishment (FoE).
National authorities should be allowed significant flexibility to choose the features for IGS that best suit their market, to reflect the important differences between member states regarding social welfare systems, winding-up process for insurers and insurance product lines. In addition, the issue of failures of insurers operating under FoS/FoE should be addressed in such a way as to make the home national supervisory authorities accountable for the failure.
Insurance Europe also said that, if after considering all elements provided, the European Commission can provide evidence that a minimum harmonisation is necessary, the preference would be for a home approach combined with host elements. This is where the home country provides all the funding to align with how companies are supervised and the host country provides the “front office” customer interface to facilitate customer, policy and claim identification as well as communication in local language. However, Insurance Europe warned that there would be significant, and potentially intractable challenges at the operational level in applying this, or indeed any harmonised approach, across the EU.

Friday, 18 October 2019

Munich Re achieves a strong result in Q3 and will likely surpass the 2019 forecast




Munich Re achieves a strong result in Q3 and will likely surpass the 2019 forecast
Munich Re generated a consolidated result of approximately €850m in the third quarter, despite high major-loss expenditure. The Q3 result is due to good operational performance, strong currency gains, and a very good investment result.

Munich Re expects to beat its target for the consolidated result of €2.5bn for 2019, despite typically considerable uncertainties about developments in major losses and the capital markets during the rest of the year.

As always, the figures are subject to the outcome of the ongoing quarterly closing, and will be published by Munich Re as planned on 7 November 2019.

www.munichre.com/

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

EIOPA identifies consumer protection issues in travel insurance and issues a warning to the travel insurance industry




The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) published  its  Thematic Review on Consumer Protection Issues in Travel Insurance.
With economic recovery, in the aftermath of the financial crisis, coupled with decreasing travel costs, travellers' numbers have been growing each year. This has led to growth in the travel insurance market.
Travel insurance is mostly a 'small-ticket' business, but it can be critical for consumers, since the impact of insufficient cover or denied claims – in particular for medical expenses while travelling – can be extensive at the individual level. It has been already in the spotlight of supervisors in some European countries given the specific conduct risks it entails, related to conflicts of interest arising from mis-aligned incentives in distribution channels, consumer behaviour issues arising in so-called 'add-on' markets, and consequential risks of poor value at the level of the product offer.
Furthermore, stakeholders highlighted in their dialogue with EIOPA issues around coverage, denied claims, unclear and conflicting terms and condition similar to the input gathered by EIOPA in the context of consumer trends reporting.
The travel insurance sector is facing important changes with new opportunities but at the same time with heightening existing problems and new risks. Insurance undertakings have been integrating new technologies into their business models leading to changes across the entire value chain, while new kinds of distributors have entered the market. Particular concerns arise with regard to rising commissions, the exploitation of behavioural biases when selling online travel insurance policies, and the potential erosion of product value and features.
To understand better travel insurance products, to identify sources potential of conduct risk and consumer detriment and to take possibly required relevant supervisory actions, EIOPA launched this Thematic Review. EIOPA issued a questionnaire to 201 insurance undertakings operating in 29 European countries to collect evidence. The national competent authorities (NCAs) distributed the questionnaire to undertakings representing approximately 60% of the total gross written premiums of the travel insurance line of business in the national market. In addition, EIOPA collected input from industry and consumer associations, as well as its Insurance and Re-Insurance Stakeholder Group.
The key findings are:
  • The travel insurance market as a whole does not appear to face a general market failure, and travel insurance products remain valuable for consumers. However, heightened conduct risks leading to consumer detriment due to problematic business models with remuneration structures based on extremely high commission levels carrying.
  • Strong potential of poor value for money for consumers due to some insurers paying extremely high commissions to distributors, in some cases significantly more than 50% of the premium. For example in one case, the insurer paid 5.5 times more in commissions to distributors than consumers received back in claims, with commission level of 77% of the premium paid by consumers. Although the average commissions in travel insurance are around 24% of the gross written premium (GWP).
  • Strong potential of poor value for money for consumers due to very wide variations in claims ratio. Some insurers have claims ratios below 20% of the GWP compared to the average claims ratio of 40% of the GWP regardless of the distribution channel.
  • Increased conduct risks due to new market players entering the market and selling travel insurance products online as an ancillary activity (airline and ferry companies, price comparison websites, aggregators, banks and supermarkets).
  • Potential risks of low quality products and services for consumers due to newly established partnerships with distributors via international tenders. In some cases, these partnerships are based solely on commissions paid to the distributors.
  • High degree of consumer detriment due to the potential high degree of dismissed claims through no pre-contractual medical screening and around 70% of insurers excluding pre-existing medical conditions from the coverage of travel insurance products.
  • Potential increased costs for consumers as in most cases assessment of overlaps in cover only conducted at the claim stage and not already during the sales process. Insurers assess only at the claim stage, which policy will cover the incident and split costs between insurers.
Given these findings, EIOPA issued today a  Warning to the Travel Insurance Industry as a supervisory response on the issues identified by the  Thematic Review. The issues addressed are in particular those problematic business models with remuneration structures based on extremely high commission levels and the business models that combine high commission with extremely low claims ratios, offering poor value for money to consumers.

EIOPA considers that such business models are not consistent with the fundamental regulatory principles set out in Directive (EU) 2016/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2016 on Insurance Distribution (IDD), such as acting in the best interests of the customer and obligations on product oversight and governance.

EIOPA expects all market participants to comply fully with the IDD.

Notwithstanding that insurance undertakings remain free to set premiums or prices, they should nevertheless assess their product offering and approval process, including their identification of target markets, to ensure that their products offer fair value to customers and are fully capable of meeting the needs of their customers.

Insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries should assess their distribution agreements to ensure that they are able to act always honestly, fairly and professionally in accordance with the best interest of their customers.

To ensure better outcomes for consumers in the insurance market, EIOPA and NCAs will closely monitoring how effectively consumers' needs are taken into account in product development and testing as well as during distribution.

In this regard, insurance manufacturers and intermediaries should be aware that EIOPA and NCAs will intensify their risk-based supervision of insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries, notably in the national markets where risks are identified, including monitoring the market for ancillary insurance products.

NCAs will, where necessary, exercise their supervisory powers, including investigatory powers and powers to impose sanctions for failures to comply with the conduct of business requirements set out in the IDD, including:
  • The duty to act in the best interest of customers and not to pay or receive remuneration that conflicts with this duty
  • The requirement not to enter into arrangements by way of remuneration, sales targets or otherwise that could provide incentives for the recommendation of a particular insurance product to a customer
  • The obligation to maintain, operate and review the approval process for each insurance product, specifying an identified target market and assessing all relevant risks to that target market
Where risks are identified and other supervisory measures are not successful, taking into account the principle of proportionality and in line with national law, NCAs will exercise their powers to impose administrative sanctions and other measures such as:
  • Requiring the insurance distributor to cease the conduct and to desist from a repetition of that conduct
  • As measure of last resort, in the case of an insurance or ancillary insurance intermediary, withdrawal from the national register
NCAs will share with EIOPA supervisory measures taken to address the business models highlighted by the Thematic Review.