DOES INSURANCE STILL MATTER? First Annual Conference of EERIA answered YES

29 September 2022 — Daniela GHETU
The First Annual Conference of the Eastern European Risk and Insurance Association (EERIA) tool place on 16 September, bringing together renowned and high-level keynote speakers and panelists from academia, regulatory bodies, and insurance industry, as well as experienced and young researchers to discuss on various topics.

The conference was organized by the joint efforts of the EERIA and the Department of Insurance in the University St. Kliment Ohridski - Bitola. The event also marked the launch of the EERIA activity. "The vision of EERIA is to be the region's leading scholarly organization in risk and insurance and a significant resource to academics and professionals in the field," Patricia Born, President of EERIA told XPRIMM.

In their introductory remarks, Patricia Born, President of EERIA and Vice Presidents, Klime Poposki and Igor Ivanovski have welcomed the guests and expressed gratitude to everyone involved and congratulated to all members for the creation of EERIA

The First Annual Conference started with congratulatory messages of the President of ARIA, Randy Dumm, the Chairperson of EIOPA, Petra Hielkema, the Director General of Insurance Europe, Michaela Koller, one of the founding members of APRIA, W. Jean Kwon, and the President of the Council of Experts of the Macedonian Insurance Supervision Agency, Krste Shajnoski. The theme of the conference was brought by the father of Solvency II insurance directive and the author of the book "Solvency Requirements for EU Insurers: Solvency II is good for you," Karel Van Hulle. His main question was whether insurance protection in covid times is myth or reality. The pandemic had enormous consequences for the insurance industry resulting in larger protection gap. Karel emphasized the need for careful and more empathetic behavior of insurers and the need for public-private partnership in dealing with systemic risks.

An excellent panel discussion followed. Gorazd Cibej (Managing Director of Insurance Supervision Agency of Slovenia), Hrvoje Paukovic (Managing Director of Croatian Insurance Bureau), Nic De Maesschalck (Director of BIPAR - European Federation of Insurance Intermediaries) and Michael Brandstetter (Manager of EU and International Affairs at the Austrian Insurance Association) discussed whether insurance still matter. The panel was moderated by Karel Van Hulle. The discussion revolved around several topics related to the risk awareness and education, supply and demand forces, innovation and regulation. Michael Brandstetter argued about the need for higher risk awareness to increase the demand for insurance and reduce the protection gap. Nic De Maesschalck emphasized the important role of intermediaries in reaching the consumers and selling insurance. Hrvoje Paukovic contended about the constraining forces of too strict regulation on insurers' innovative activities. Finally, Gorazd Cibej addressed how insurance regulation can accelerate insurance development and narrow the protection gap while achieving stability and better consumer protection.

Two excellent presenters enriched the conference program and discussion even more. Firstly, Jean-Pierre Daniel from VIGIE elaborated the pros and cons of usage-based insurance, specifically two main types of UBI insurance: pay as you drive and pay how you drive. He compared the successful and unsuccessful examples of UBI and predicted that in some markets UBI may remain a niche product for young drivers. Additionally, Goran Trendafiloski, the Head of Earthquake Model Development in the AON's Impact Forecasting, highlighted the significant catastrophe protection gap that exists worldwide. Goran emphasized the lack of political will to deal with this problem as one of the main obstacles in reducing the protection gap. He devised two pillars for tackling the large protection gap: stimulating research and development and public-private partnership. Finally, the researchers opened and discussed a range of topics related to the innovations and novel business models in insurance, insurance demand drivers, risk profiles of insurers, as well as the state of insurance markets in the region.

In the end, the EERIA team expressed a sincere gratitude to the sponsors, individual and institutional members, local firms and individuals for the provided support and for making the First Annual Conference a great success.



Sponsors: BIPAR, SN BROKER, WVP SKOPJE and FTU-OHRID

Institutional members: Insurance State Supervision Service of Georgia, Insurance Supervision Agency of Slovenia, Insurance Supervision Agency of North Macedonia, Insurtech Israel, National Insurance Bureau of North Macedonia, Kosovo Insurance Bureau and TUW PZUW

Local firms and Individuals: Labino Sound - Ohrid and Webiart Creative Agency; Bojana Gjuroska and Stefan Taleski

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The Eastern European Risk and Insurance Association (EERIA) is a new academic association founded in the fall of 2020. The aim of EERIA is to promote science and research in the field of risk and insurance, with special attention given to the Central Eastern and Southeastern Europe. The Association's mission is to broaden the common interests between academicians and practitioners, provide opportunities for professional interaction between and among academicians, practitioners and students, promote the development and understanding of basic and applied research and of sound financial practices, and to enhance the quality of education in the field of risk and insurance. Through regular meetings, conferences, and symposia, EERIA intends to encourage applied and theoretical research on topics relevant to the insurance industry, financial regulators, sustainability, financial inclusion, financial literacy and public-private partnerships. For more information about EERIA and its mission, please visit the website at https://eeria.org.

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