Brandstetter: Insurance industry has begun to examine if and how public-private partnerships can cover pandemic risks in the future

28 May 2020 — press.release
Today, 28 May 2020, Insurance Europe president, Andreas Brandstetter, takes part in a roundtable meeting hosted by European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis to discuss measures taken by insurers and other members of the financial sector to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on both consumers and businesses.

Brandstetter said: "Today's discussions provide a good opportunity to deepen our understanding of the impact that COVID-19 has had on people and businesses, as well as what the financial sector has done to cope and the steps it has taken to help customers and wider society.

The insurance industry has continued to serve its customers and maintain operations throughout this crisis, while at the same time doing everything it can to protect its customers and employees. While the crisis is having a significant impact on insurers' claims, investments and business flows, good risk and capital management has meant our industry remains strong and robust.

Our key priority remains, as always, honouring our promises to customers, so that claims due now are paid and claims due in the future will be paid. This requires prudent management of our capital, particularly during times of economic turbulence.

However, insurers have gone significantly further than honouring their contractual promises. Firstly, they have acted fairly to customers and taken measures to help them cope with the restrictions and problems created by the crisis. Secondly, insurers have initiated further goodwill and solidarity measures, such as contributing to solidarity funds, providing resources and expertise.

It is important to note that insurers have tailored these solidarity measures to take account of the specific situation in their markets, their customers' needs and their own individual circumstances, each of which can vary greatly. This ensures that insurers' solidarity measures respond to local needs - as the impact of COVID-19 differs widely across Europe - while also ensuring that they do not put at risk their ability to meet contractual promises to their customers, both now and in the future.

While the current focus is clearly on managing the crisis now, the industry has also begun to look ahead to examine if and how, working in a public-private partnership, pandemic risks can be covered in the future and how insurers can contribute towards a green recovery."

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