Behind the Scenes of Successful Insurance Claims Management

Behind the Scenes of Successful Major Claims Management

Insurance claims management is our core business, especially when it comes to complex or major claims. In doing so, we strive to achieve successful, swift, and fair results.

Our clients and Insurance Claims Management

Fischer Sports GmbH is the global leader in Nordic skiing and one of the world’s leading brands in Alpine skiing, as well as one of the biggest manufacturers of high-quality ice hockey sticks. The privately held company employs nearly 2000 individuals who all share a passion for and dedication to winter sports. Fischer Sports GmbH was founded in 1924 in Ried im Innkreis, Austria, where the global headquarter is still located. Manufacturing
of skis takes place in Austria and Ukraine.

In October 2020 a fire occurred in the Ukrainian production site, caused by a fluorescent tube. The small incident quickly became a major loss, although the building was equipped with a sprinkler system. The reason for this was that the fire could spread through a suspended ceiling over most of the production hall.

GrECo took over the claims management and immediately identified the stakeholders in the process. In addition to the central and local Account Team, GrECo experts in property and business interruption insurance were nominated, the respective insurers were informed, and appropriate loss adjusters were added to the team. Despite that this was a major loss and the location was outside the EU, the claim has been managed successfully, and the reconstruction was started within a year. Unfortunately, the full start-up of the new facility had to be interrupted due to the outbreak of the Ukrainian war, but could be restarted in the meantime.

“Part of our Alpine and Nordic skis are produced in the Ukraine. In order not to miss a whole season we were under a huge time pressure to rebuild our site. GrECo performed extremely well in this case: they established a qualified claims handling team, were on-site in just a few days, managed the relations to all stakeholders and guided us to settle the claim successfully and in time together.”

Christian Egger
CFO at Fischer Sports

What is necessary for successful insurance claims management?

Managing insurance claims is our core business, especially when it comes to complex or major claims. In doing so, we strive to achieve successful, swift, and fair results. Our goal is to ensure our clients receive the contractually agreed benefits and services. We therefore pool all our resources to assist our clients from the very beginning.

Experience shows that 6 key factors largely determine a professional claims management:

  • Crisis management as an effective precaution for an emergency: Being an experienced risk specialist, GrECo steps in long before a claim or other potential threat arises. We provide companies with project-specific support and targeted engineering services. We also help our clients to help themselves. During the last two years, we noted a sharp rise in the demand for crisis and business continuity management. Hence, we assist companies to prepare themselves, act systematically, and be one step ahead in the event of a major claim. The aim is to enable them to handle a crisis in the best possible way and emerge from it largely unscathed. The focus has long since shifted away from mere fire events to new drivers, such as increasing cyber crime and natural catastrophes as well as volatile supply and value-added chains.
  • Adequate risk transfer: Managing risks via a risk transfer requires tailored and transparent insurance programmes. Ideally, there should be no nasty surprises in the event of a claim, e.g.: the lack of risk adequate components in coverage or insufficient insurance sums. Changes in risks –whether due to new markets, products, services, regulatory changes or economic issues – must be constantly evaluated. Currently, the high inflation rate, driven by the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has led to huge adjustments in both insurance sums and limits on the compensation sums payable.
  • Documented loss adjustments and sensitisation: Special contractual provisions for loss adjustments help speed up the process and avoid potential pitfalls. We step in right at the beginning and agree upon independent assessors with the insurer, implement claims handling procedures and sensitise key stakeholders during workshops with clients. That way, we professionally support and help manage our clients’ claims management as soon as an event occurs.
  • Industry insight and technical expertise: Handling complex and major claims professionally requires us to be familiar with our clients’ busines smodels, their processes, products and services as well as their industry sector. Our vast insight enables us to manage claims proactively and meet assessors, crisis communication experts and loss adjusters at eye level – irrespective of whether we are dealing with production faults or assembly errors in plant engineering, with worldwide recalls of cars due to faulty supplier products or a ransomware attack on a food producer. Every member of our expert team is a specialist in his or her field. Besides lawyers and business economists, our teams comprise experts in machine and plant engineering, chemistry and chemical technology, geodesy and geoinformatics, cultural engineering and water management, natural hazard management, environmental technology and ecotoxicology as well as cybersecurity, IT and communication technology.
  • Knowledge of the insurance markets and selected expert networks: Given GrECo’s strong market position, we are in touch with all decision-makers in the insurance market and work hand in hand with independent, highly specialised loss adjustors who are part of our international network which we have established over the years. During the entire claims settlement process we are in close consultation with all stakeholders: our clients, the assessors and loss adjusters we engage as well as the respective insurers. By acting as “facilitators” and “translators”, we take care of the strategy and communicate in a transparent manner to shed light on facts, answer any technically related questions, and clarify matters concerning economic impacts and insurance coverage.
  • Best in Class – GrECo Complex Claims Team: Complex and major claims are best managed by ou Complex Claims Team. In the event of a claim, they nominate a Complex Claims Manager to steer the entire claims settlement process. Depending on the specifics of an individual case, we combine GrECo’s most suitable resources with the Complex Claims Team. We add client insights via the Account Team and make sure that the diversity of our experts delivers a best-in class claims management. This means that the team is not only familiar with our clients and their industry sectors, but also knows the specifics of the insurance programmes’ coverage inside out. That way, we make sure our clients receive the insurer’s contractually agreed services while securing their liquidity at the same time. In line with our international programmes, our team also manages major claims abroad and collaborates closely with the respective local GrECo nova brokers.

This article is part of our new Annual report 2021. The annual report gives you a review on GrECo`s facts & figures of the last business year and our most important developments. In addition you can find testimonials on the services the GrECo Group provides to its clients. The case studies are from different industries and GrECo regions.

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EVER GIVEN – One Year Later

TheEVER GIVEN shipping accident in the Suez Canal has far-reaching consequences for supply chains.

Not only are all the companies whose goods were in the 18,000 containers of the EVER GIVEN affected, but also those whose goods were transported by the 400 cargo ships that reached their destination only after a considerable delay due to the traffic jam.

The container ship MS EVER GIVEN ran aground in the Suez Canal a year ago. The delays in delivery caused by the accident are still noticeable today – and are also shaking up the insurance market.

This picture went around the world on 23 March 2021: The stranded giant freighter MS EVER GIVEN – with a length of almost 400 metres and a width of 60 metres, one of the largest container ships in the world – lies transversely in the Suez Canal, blocking one of the most important trade routes. Fully packed cargo ships are jammed in front of the canal entrance and forced to wait seven days to continue their journey.

The shipping accident in the Suez Canal has far-reaching consequences for supply chains. Not only are all the companies whose goods were in the 18,000 containers of the EVER GIVEN affected, but also those whose goods were transported by the 400 cargo ships that reached their destination only after a considerable delay due to the traffic jam. Ultimately, this also pushes transport insurance to its limits.

High-risk transport

On the busy sea route between Asia and Europe, cargo ships are usually loaded to their maximum capacity, which poses a safety risk for the crew and the cargo, especially in bad weather. For example, crosswinds can cause very large container ships like the EVER GIVEN to run aground on a sandbank in a narrow waterway. The ever-increasing size of cargo ships also increases the risk and makes salvage operations more difficult in the event of an accident.

Supply chain mess

Even before the blockade of the Suez Canal, industries were struggling with supply bottlenecks. Incidents like that of the EVER GIVEN are the last straw. There are dramatic interruptions in the supply chain or even a production standstill but any case delays. In Europe, the automotive, chemical and pharmaceutical industries were particularly affected by the Suez Canal disaster, as were large discount retailers that source their goods from Asia.

Transport insurance and its limits

In the area of classic goods transport insurance, damage, as well as additional costs incurred for goods that are directly on the affected means of transport, can be insured to a large extent. This also includes the so-called general average, which exists when the captain arranges for extraordinary expenses to be incurred to rescue the vessel from an immediate and common peril, such as the sea throwing of goods, the flooding of holds in the event of a fire, or tugging and dredging operations, as in the case of EVER GIVEN.

Especially in the case of general average, the insurance cover enables the goods on the damaged vessel to be released. Those who are not insured have to pay themselves – a not inconsiderable cost risk. In the case of the EVER GIVEN, claims payments in the high three-digit millions were made by the insurers and reinsurers.

The situation is different for goods on ships that are only indirectly affected by the time delay. The mere delay of the voyage does not trigger a claim under conventional transport insurance policies, and this is precisely what is now bringing a new insurance company onto the scene.

New insurance for trade disruption and its limits

To provide a solution for indirect risks such as travel delays, a so-called “Trade Disruption Insurance” (TDI) has been developed on the London market. Unlike traditional business interruption insurance, this parametric solution covers those costs, expenses and lost profits that result from events that do not cause physical damage.

To stay with the specific case of the shipping accident, the blockage of waterways can be chosen as the coverage trigger. If the insured event occurs, payment of the agreed limit (less the deductible taken) is made. In this way, losses caused by delays or non-arrival of goods can also be covered.

The new TDI insurance is designed for major loss scenarios and can be customised. It can also be extended, for example, to cover loss of earnings, contractual penalties, liquidated damages or other costs and expenses such as additional financing costs. It thus offers a comprehensive solution for a complex risk that is becoming ever higher due to global development.

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A risk management look beyond the horizon

Events can lead to business interruptions and production shutdowns without causing any property damage. This is a difficult risk management starting point, especially for insurance companies. 

Natural disasters, power outages or a pandemic – all these events can lead to business interruptions and production shutdowns without causing any property damage. This is a difficult risk management starting point, especially for insurance companies. 

A major fire. Parts of the buildings and production facilities are damaged or even destroyed. There is a business interruption. Sales cannot be generated, revenues cannot be earned, and the ongoing costs cannot be financed. Damage of this kind can quickly run into the two to three-digit millions. Traditional property and business interruption insurance offers suitable cover in such cases. It provides compensation for the property damage as well as for the ongoing costs and loss of earnings.
 
However, established insurance concepts are unsuitable if a production stoppage or business interruption occurs without prior property damage, for example, due to the ash cloud over Europe in March 2010 or due to a widespread power outage, i.e. a blackout.
 
Currently, the best-known event that has led to shutdowns and outages in many industries is Covid-19. This event is derived from a single cause and occurred almost simultaneously worldwide. From an actuarial point of view, a risk transfer via insurance solutions is currently not possible without government involvement.

Alternative coverage concepts

For other failure scenarios, so-called non-damage business interruption policies, or NDBI for short, offer insurance coverage. Examples include natural events such as extreme cold, which causes river routes to freeze over, or regional flooding, which impedes access to and departure from operating sites and thus interrupts necessary raw material deliveries.

Limits to risk transfer and risk management

Many companies want to insure themselves against all the uncertainties that can occur in their value or supply chain, including market risk and price fluctuations. However, this is where the insurance industry reaches its limits. As in traditional insurance, innovative risk transfer solutions such as NDBI must meet criteria such as randomness, uniqueness, estimability and independence.

Here is a brief insight into the small 1 x 1 of insurability:

 Randomness means that the risk is uncertain and uncontrollable when the contract is concluded. To eliminate moral hazards, uncertainty must be present in both contracting parties. Besides moral hazard, information asymmetry is one of the biggest challenges for the insurance market. Often, the insurer does not have the same level of knowledge about the circumstances that may lead to a loss and may impose limitations on the scope of coverage. Customised solutions based on weather events as triggers, offer the advantage of objective risk assessment here, as the data is often provided by an independent third-party provider, such as NASA, satellites or weather stations.
 
Uniqueness requires that all essential characteristics of the event as well as the obligation to perform must be definable. Any residual risks must be borne by the policyholder. For example, the values from a weather station may have to be extrapolated to cover a larger area or region. In this case, the damage presented may deviate from reality.
 
Estimability is the ability to determine the expected value and spread of the loss distribution to be insured (loss amount and probability of occurrence). Estimability is not sufficiently ensured if there is not enough meaningful data to be able to create an appropriate risk model. Otherwise, subjective risk assessments – but with an increased risk of error – can also be considered.
 
Independence ensures that the risk can be diversified for the insurer. This means that many risks that do not materialise in the same event must be insured in the risk community of the insured. The aim is to avoid accumulation risk, i.e. the probability of a simultaneous or staged occurrence of loss for many insured risks. In a global value chain where just-in-time delivery is required, a strong correlation of various events can be assumed. A disruption at a manufacturer of certain components in Asia can cause massive damage and interruptions in Europe and vice versa.
 
These basic principles essentially define the limits in risk transfer. The criteria for insurability do not necessarily have to be met in full; a level at which risk equalisation is sufficiently ensured is adequate.

4 Findings for the Insurance and Risk Management Industry

The key findings of various studies on the development of global insurance markets by Deloitte, Ernst & Young, A.M. Best Rating Agency and Swiss Re show that:
 
1. The pandemic has highlighted the relevance of the insurance industry as a financial relief for households, companies and governments in times of crisis.
2. Supply chain disruptions require better protection to make businesses and society more resilient.
3. Insurers must adapt to widespread change, become more agile, and develop new solutions and even more specific services.
4. Digitalisation accelerated by the pandemic will enable improved risk assessment through Big Data & Co as well as more transparent pricing in the future. Optimised processes will lead to efficiency gains and favour the development of new, more attractive products based on AI and Big Data.
 
Risk managers are also challenged to evaluate alternative solutions for risk transfer (e.g. in the form of an NDBI) to make decisions for targeted deployment. There are no standardised products or parameters for such solutions. Each contract is tailor-made and individual. Here, too, integrative networking of risk and insurance management is a recipe for success in supporting the company’s success in the long term.

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Rudolf Schiel

Practice Leader Property & Engineering

T +43 664 822 27 58

Zviadi Vardosanidze

Group Practice Leader Energy, Power and Mining

T +43 664 962 39 04

Disrupted supply chains and their consequences

Since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic two years ago, global supply chains congestion has threatened the existence of many companies.

Since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic two years ago, global supply chains congestion has threatened the existence of many companies. The supply bottlenecks extend across industries and products – from A for aluminium to Z for zippers.

Supply Chains Interruptions

Almost daily we read about interrupted supply chains, backlogs of orders, price increases for energy and raw materials, payment defaults and economic difficulties of companies. Many of these are pandemic-related after-effects and the war in Ukraine is fuelling the tense situation even further.

Since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic two years ago, global supply chain congestion has threatened the existence of many companies. The supply bottlenecks extend across industries and products – from A for aluminium to Z for zippers. Electronic parts and metals in particular, but also wood and packaging, are in short supply and more expensive due to the change in demand, and limited transport capacities are driving up prices even further.

„Supply Chain Risk” force field

What is striking about individual risks in the supply chain is that a general assessment is very difficult to estimate due to their possible “spillover effect” on other areas of the company.

Risks in the supply chain can be quite diverse. They can range from minor disruptions to the destruction of the entire chain. Minor problems – especially due to close business dependencies of the individual companies in the supply chain – can already cause considerable difficulties and trigger the well-known domino effect.

When financial strength is in short supply

What is striking about individual risks in the supply chain is that a general assessment is very difficult to estimate The current pandemic also shows that companies can get into a financial crisis or even become insolvent despite full order books. This predicament is caused by several special effects that – considered individually – could have been managed. These include delays in processing and invoicing orders, significant price increases in the procurement markets and longer delivery times. In addition, transport and logistics are sometimes subject to massive price increases and delays.

Sales activities, project processing and service business (especially in the project business) also suffer from the travel and quarantine regulations of the individual countries and further aggravating the situation. If price increases cannot be passed on to customers, or only partially, due to existing long-term contracts with buyers, the economic situation becomes even more acute.   

Full order books and yet insolvent

If the flow of goods falters or even comes to a standstill because missing materials or product parts interrupt the production, the spiral turns further downwards.

There is a lot of talk about back shoring or nearshoring production, but finding and implementing alternative sources of supply is difficult in the short term and usually expensive, plus many inputs cannot be sourced in the EU either. A supply chain disruption can be responsible for a massive loss of revenue if goods do not reach the customer on time or at all. Negative effects can include penalties, a possible loss of follow-up orders or the loss of key customers. In short, long-term disruption of supply chains can put a company under severe pressure and ultimately even lead to insolvency – both on the supplier side and the customer side.

Risk management through creditworthiness information

The risk management process of credit risks on the customer side can of course also be applied to the supplier side, although with increasingly long and complicated supply chains it is not always easy to know all risks sufficiently and to keep up to date.
 
Many companies use credit insurance to cover the debtor risk, whose core service is to check and monitor the creditworthiness of their buyers. But up-to-date information on financial stability is important not only on the debtor side but also on the supplier side.

Conclusion

In the face of pandemic supply difficulties, creditworthiness checks and monitoring should not be forgotten, from the supplier’s upstream supplier to the customer’s customer. All the more so when the supply chain encompasses all services – from creation to delivery of the finished product. So it’s not just the production process and the flow of trade that needs to be ensured, rather one of the key questions is: “How are my key suppliers doing financially?” The credit check provides the answer.

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Lisbeth Lorenz

Group Practice Leader Credit & Political Risk

T +43 5 04 04 280

A world loss event – EVER GIVEN

EVER GIVEN - A world loss event and its far-reaching consequences

The EVER GIVEN shipping disaster at the Suez Canal has affected the entire world economy. An analysis by Prof. Sebastian Kummer illustrates the damage in its entirety, sheds light on the effects on the supply chains and spans the arc to the war in Ukraine.

On 23 March 2021, the container ship EVER GIVEN rammed its bow into the eastern bank of the Suez Canal, blocking it until 29 March 2021. At 20,000 TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent), the EVER GIVEN, which sails for the Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen, is almost as large as the largest container ships currently in service (24,000 TEU).

There were contradictory statements about the rescue for a long time. Egypt said that the ship would be freed quickly, other sources indicated that it could take longer. This contradiction is caused because one passage costs about 300,000 USD. The uncertain duration of the rescue led to more and more shipping companies diverting ships from Asia towards the Cape of Good Hope from 25 March 2021

How high are the losses caused by the blockade?

Allianz estimated the losses triggered by the blockade of the Suez Canal at up to 10 billion USD per week. This value seems too high, due to the relatively short blockage. The Suez Canal Authority, on the other hand, has estimated the direct costs for the parties involved at just over 1 billion USD. This amount seems too low, as it does not take into account the follow-up costs of the supply chains.
 
It is almost impossible to put an exact figure on the costs. However, a rough estimate shows the dimension of the problem as well as the diversity of costs.
 
The Suez Canal, and subsequently Egypt, have suffered high revenue losses due to the ships diverted because of the accident. In addition, the salvage of the EVER GIVEN also caused damage to the canal. The shipping company declared a general average in April 2021. The amount of compensation was not published but is estimated at around 500 million USD.
 
The delay also meant that intermediate products for production were missing, and other products could no longer be sold or could only be sold at a discount. These costs amount to between 250 and 400 million EUR. In total, the direct costs amount to at least 1 billion EUR.

The Direct Costs – 1 billion EUR

All shipping companies whose ships had to wait due to the disaster have incurred considerable additional costs. The charter costs of the largest container ships are currently around 100,000 USD per day – and even if the shipping companies own the ships, there are immense costs like bunker costs as well as loss of income. Furthermore, for a ship with 20,000 TEU, the rental costs of the containers per day amount to approx. 100,000 USD.
 
Roughly estimated, about 400 ships were affected by the accident, so the total costs per day due to waiting for time or diversions costs were about 50 to 100 million EUR. Furthermore, the traffic jams caused additional waiting times in the handling ports as well as delayed onward transport, for example, due to limited rail capacities in Europe. The costs listed above roughly add up to around 1 billion EUR

Major damage occurred mainly in the supply chains

Considering that 30% of the world’s container traffic was delayed, one can imagine the enormous economic impact. The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) estimates that freight worth 3 billion USD passes through the waterways every day; other sources even speak of 9 billion USD. In seven days, that would be 21 to 63 billion USD.
 
Due to the wide variety of goods transported, it is difficult to estimate the actual damage. Delays for items such as wastepaper from Europe to Asia are rather unproblematic. It is a different story for electrical goods or even seasonal items that arrive late in shops or online sales. If individual supplier parts are missing, bicycles, washing machines or other consumer goods cannot be assembled. The automotive industry has stopped the production because of the chip shortage.
 
In a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper (2012), economists David Hummels and Georg Schaur estimated that each day of delay costs between 0.6% and 2.3% of the value of goods on board a given ship. Assuming this estimate for the EVER GIVEN, the cost is 18 to 69 million USD per day, which would be 126 to 483 million USD for seven days.
 
The 6.5-day blockade of the Suez Canal caused damages to the entire global economy of 2 to 2.5 billion EUR.

What environmental damage was caused by the blockade?

Maritime transport accounts for about 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and this figure is rising. The blockade of the Suez Canal and the resulting circumnavigation of the African Cape resulted in a much longer route with higher speed and consumption. In addition, the shipping companies tried to make up for the backlog in the following weeks and months by increasing the speed of their ships.
 
A 20,000 TEU container ship consumes 250 to 300 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, i. e. 200,000 litres per day. With seven additional days of sailing time and about 160 (of the 400 affected) ships that decided to take the diversions, a total of about 224 million litres of additional heavy fuel oil were consumed. Taking into account the additional consumption for increased speeds in the following months, this resulted in an additional consumption of 550 million litres of heavy fuel oil. The formula 3.16/litre heavy fuel oil thus results in additional emissions amounting to 1,738 million kg CO2.

Shipping alternatives?

Unfortunately, the accident hit maritime transport at a time of strained transport chains. In the short term, one could have tried to switch to container trains traveling from China to Europe via the Eurasian Land Bridge. But their capacities were limited.
 
In the course of the war in Ukraine, oil and gas deliveries from Russia are often discussed. It is forgotten that the existing railway connections of the Eurasian land bridge run through Russia. The Chinese have recognised the strategic dependence and are trying to develop a route south of Russia via Iran and Turkey as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
 
Air freight – certainly an alternative for high-value goods – is also very busy. Even before the EVER GIVEN disaster, there were significant delays. Due to the current sanctions against Russia, the country has closed its airspace to airlines from the EU and many other countries. This shows how vulnerable individual modes of transport are and how important it is for international supply chains to have alternatives.
 
Shortage of delivery capacities with high delivery costs at the same time. Why?
International supply chains were already strained before the Suez Canal disaster due to the lack of containers and air freight capacity. If the closure had lasted longer than seven days, the effects would have been truly catastrophic. After all, around 12% of global trade or 30% of international containers pass through the Suez Canal.
 
The impact on freight costs was particularly great. Even before the accident, international container rates were at an unprecedented high. The succession of crisis lockdowns and/or production cuts – first in China and then in Europe and the USA – has led to a shortage of containers. Combined with unexpectedly high demand in the US and Europe, freight rates were three times higher than in normal times, and in the aftermath of the disaster, they even rose to 6 times the pre-Covid-19 level.
 
The price drivers continue to be a persistent container shortage, rising demand, Chinese terminal closures due to Covid-19, lower capacity at US ports, delayed handling at these ports and waiting times at US West Coast ports and Singapore, as well as problems in US hinterland traffic.

Outlook

One of the “lessons learned” from the Covid-19 crisis is that we need to strengthen the supply chain resilience and reduce the dependence on global suppliers. Even before EVER GIVEN, regionalisation of supply chains or at least “nearshoring”, i.e. sourcing from nearby countries, was discussed.
 
A huge problem is a shortage of and dependence on microchips from Asia, especially from Taiwan. In this context, the EU’s promotion of new chip factories in Europe is very welcome. Austria can consider itself lucky to have a lighthouse project with the Infineon factory in Villach, even though many chips are also flown here to Asia for final production.
 
Due to the short distance, the good skilled labour and the low wages, Ukraine was/is an excellent nearshoring country. There are some automotive suppliers there. But here too, the war is causing supply chains to break down. BMW in Steyr and Volkswagen already had to stop their production at the beginning of March 2022 due to a lack of cables from Ukraine.
 
In shipping, bottlenecks like the Suez and Panama Canal will not be eliminated so easily. In the case of the Panama Canal, the second set of locks has already been built to allow larger ships to pass through. Furthermore, there are various considerations to building parallel routes (e.g. through Nicaragua). However, the costs and the negative environmental impact are gigantic. Therefore, one is not aware of any consideration of parallel canals for the Suez Canal.

PHOTO: © S.J. de Waard / CC-BY-SA-4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

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Prof.-Dr.-Sebastian-Kummer

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kummer

Director of the Institute of Transport Economics and Logistics, WU Vienna and Endowed Chair Professor, Jilin University, Changchun since 2001. Previously he worked at the TU Dresden (1996-2001) and WHU, Vallendar (1987-1996). Together with his team, he has carried out numerous successful research and practical projects for industrial and trading companies as well as for transport and logistics service providers. He has supported numerous transport and logistics tenders. His publication list comprises more than 200 publications, including leading textbooks. He became known to a wider public when he was stranded with his sailboat in the Aegean Sea due to Covid 19 restrictions.

Sell my clothes I’m going to heaven!

There are still companies that are apparently based on the famous saying of the poet K.W.J. Ferdinand Sauter (*1804, + 1854). Although they take care of their business properly, they do not take care of the contracts on which it is based. Apparently, Sauter had already had experience with customers in this regard, having worked for an insurance company for a number of years.

Sauter’s words were finally set to music for a well-known wine tavern song. And while we’re on the subject of songs, let’s add one more thing, a children’s song – modified to fit the topic: “Vallerie and vallera – contracts are there to be checked!”

But now specifically: The author of this article was recently shown by a south-east European freight forwarder – it could of course also have been an Austrian one – very proudly of the framework agreement he had created himself for orders from customers, with which the freight forwarder wanted to limit his liability as much as possible. But more on that later!

Freight forwarder or carrier: a small difference with a big impact

In most countries with a developed legal culture there is a clear terminological distinction between freight forwarder and carrier. To put it very simply: freight forwarders organise transports, carriers carry them out.

Freight forwarders usually have quite limited liability, while carriers have stricter liability with higher amounts. However, as far as liability is concerned, there are exceptions to this rule in some countries, e.g. Austria, whose UGB is quoted below:

  • Self-admission: § 412 reads: (1) Unless otherwise specified, the freight forwarder is authorised to carry out the transport of the goods himself. (2) If he makes use of this authority, he also has the rights and obligations of a carrier or shipper; he can demand the commission, the costs that otherwise regularly occur in forwarding transactions and the usual freight.
  • Fixed-cost forwarding: this is regulated in § 413 (1): If the forwarder has agreed with the consignor on a certain rate of transport costs, he exclusively has the rights and obligations of a freight forwarder. In such a case, he can only demand commissions if this has been specifically agreed.
  • Groupage forwarding: § 413 (2) determines: If the freight forwarder effects the shipment of the goods together with the goods of other consignors on the basis of a freight contract concluded for his account for a groupage, the provisions of paragraph 1 apply, even if an agreement on a certain rate of transport costs has not taken place. In this case, the freight forwarder can demand freight that is reasonable under the circumstances, but no more than the freight that is customary for the transport of the individual goods.

“Having the duties of a carrier” means, among other things: also, to be liable like a carrier in this case. To show the difference: A freight forwarder is generally liable – without going into details such as maximum amounts, waiver of liability in certain cases etc. – according to the General Austrian Forwarder Conditions with 1.09 EUR per lost kilogram of gross weight, but a freight forwarder according to Art 23 of the CMR usually with 8.33 SDR per kilogram gross weight, converted with about 10 EURO/kg. Being burdened with only about a tenth of the standard liability in the event of damage naturally makes it attractive for freight forwarders not to have to be treated like a freight forwarder in terms of liability.

Forwarder or carrier: a question of liability

What are the reasons why freight forwarders have the duties of a carrier in the aforementioned cases? In the case of § 412 UGB it is obvious: why should a forwarder who concludes a forwarding contract – but is not just a so-called “sofa forwarder” with a desk, laptop and telephone, but does not have his own vehicle fleet – but then himself carries out transport with its own vehicles, be treated differently than any other carrier?

In the case of so-called fixed-cost forwarding, the explanation is that a freight forwarder could be tempted to choose a good, inexpensive carrier, but not the best, who might also have higher freight rates. In the case of freight forwarding at fixed costs, the freight forwarder generally does not disclose his commission and is therefore tempted to focus on maximizing profits at the expense of the carrier’s quality. They may not have the latest equipment, not the best drivers, not the most modern technical equipment, not the best know-how about transport routes, guarded parking lots, etc., which means that damage can occur more easily. And because this increases the risk for the customer of the freight forwarder, he is also subject to stricter liability. Similar considerations apply to groupage shipping. In the case of consolidated loads, goods are also more likely to be damaged or lost, as experience has shown.

Back to the introductory remarks! The supposedly resourceful freight forwarder had created an “order document” which was entitled “transport order” and with which clients were to place orders with him. In the form itself it was pointed out that the contractor acts as a freight forwarder – also under commercial law – and acts on the basis of the general freight forwarder conditions of his association, but the text then referred to “freight payment”, “due date of freight” etc. Due to the text in the document, the conclusion of an “original freight contract” can be assumed. In this case, there is no need for a “detour” via self-employment, fixed-cost or groupage freight forwarding, since the CMR (“Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road”) as an international treaty is mandatory for international road haulage. Article 1 of the same states: “This Convention applies to every contract for the carriage of goods by road for reward by means of vehicles…”. And Art. 41 CMR stipulates that an agreement may not be used to deviate directly or indirectly from this convention, otherwise it will be void and have no legal effect. It follows that in this case anyone who concludes a contract of carriage (also known as a transport contract or contract of carriage) by accepting a “transport order” (or similar) is liable under freight law. This also applies to freight forwarders.

The “resourceful” freight forwarder should have had his “order document” checked by a lawyer, or e.g. by a knowledgeable employee of GrECo. An insurance broker like GrECo, who runs “Transport” as a group practice, is of course able to advise customers on how to minimize liability risks and ultimately save on insurance premiums due to dealing with a large number of claims. It goes without saying that GrECo, if a claim does occur, supports the policyholder with expertise and accompanies him through the settlement of the claim in the best possible way. Experience is one of the most important assets that GrECo can offer, especially with internationality in transport , apart from excellent contacts to lawyers, average adjusters and experts whose involvement is often a necessity in the event of major claims.

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Otmar Tuma

Instructor Transportation & Logistics

Unfreezing the confidence in the future

Unfreezing the confidence in the future GrECo Group Specialist Risk Management Insurance

Over the past 20 years, spring frost events have become increasingly destructive to the fruit and berry production in the CEE region. We decided to take a closer look at this risk and briefly describe the current situation with insurance solutions for this risk for horticulture.

Frost can be different

Low temperatures below the critical frost tolerance level are among the most important causes of yield loss in fruit orchards. There are several phenomena of low temperatures, such as frost and freeze.

These terms are often used interchangeably but refer to two different weather events. The term freeze is normally used to describe an invasion of a large, very cold air mass. This event is commonly called an advective or wind-borne freeze. Wind speeds during an advective freeze are usually more than 8 km/h (5 mph) and an additional wind speed of 5 km/h results in an additional temperature drop of 1 degree. Clouds are commonly present during the event and the air is usually quite dry (low dew points). Freeze protection systems are usually of limited value during this type of severe freeze.

A radiational frost, also called a radiational freeze, typically occurs when winds are calm (usually 0 to 5 km/h) and skies are clear. Under such conditions, an inversion (i.e. deviation of temperatures in ground and upper height) may form because of rapid radiational cooling at the surface.

Most people think of frosts as frozen moisture on plant surfaces. However, there are two types of frosts: a hoar or black frost and a white frost. Visible frost (forms small crystals) occurs when atmospheric moisture freezes on plants and other surfaces. Dew (free water) forms when air temperature drops below the dew point temperature. If temperatures continue dropping on cold nights, this dew may freeze (forms frost) by sunrise. When the air temperature is below the freezing point of water, ice crystals rather than dew forms and the frost is called white frost.

The temperature at which this occurs is called the frost point. When the dew point temperature is below the freezing temperature of the air, neither frost nor dew forms. Such a condition is called black frost. The development of frost depends on the dew point or frost point of the air. And the drier the air, the lower the dew point.

Temperature distributions are uneven even on farm level

When it comes to temperatures, not all farming sites are equal, even when located in the same general area. There are numerous factors that can affect minimum temperatures during freeze events.

Chart. Example of different temperature distribution on vineyard. Data source

For example, temperature differences in hilly terrain are quite common on cold nights. As air near the surface is cooled on radiational frost nights, it becomes denser and flows downhill to lower areas where it collects.

Within a given area of a farming region, the most elevated sites tend to be the warmest during freeze events. The trees on northern slopes are much more and severely damaged by the extremely cold and dry winds during advective winter/spring freeze events. Soil characteristics can exert a microclimate effect.

Moreover, the experience has clearly shown that orchards may become active a little earlier in late winter on heavier, clay type soils and/or darker coloured soils (such as reds and blacks) than on lighter coloured, sandy soils. Although the latter tends to warm up faster, but they reflect more heat during the day (trap less heat) and lose it faster during the night.

Human-induced impacts can also be significant. For example, large areas of paved roads, such as interstate highways release substantial heat on cold nights, and this combined with heat released by vehicles and air currents created by traffic, can sometimes provide a beneficial effect to several rows of trees located close to such highways.

Damage to fruit & berry yields, caused by low temperatures

Damage to floral structures may take many forms. Frost on flowers or fruit does not kill the tissue, but it can scar the skin of the fruit and possibly damage the flesh. The internal freezing of tissue of buds, flowers and fruits is what causes serious damage or death of the floral parts. When small floral structures such as flowers or fruits freeze, they may take on several forms of damage. Severe temperatures usually destroy the entire buds, flowers or ovules (immature seed) and ovaries comprising small fruits resulting in rapid abscission of the structure.

Damages from freezes depend on the development stage of the fruit crop. For example, apple trees, during the dormancy period, partial damage of flower buds may be possible, if the air temperature drops to -25 ⁰C, complete damage, if the air temperature drops to -35 ⁰C. The warm December phenomena keeping trees still vegetating creates big trouble for further winter frost tolerance for some types of berries and fruit trees.

Chart. Trend, that witnesses the second half of December is getting warmer and warmer in the South-Eastern part of Poland. Data source: GrECo Group analysis

After resumption of the vegetation temperature at which ground frosts lead to partial damage to apple trees is much higher, e.g. at full blossom stage is -2.9 ⁰C leading to partial loss and -4.7 leading to full loss.

Generally, the crop sensitivity to freezing temperature increases from first bloom to small-fruit stages, and this is when a crop is most likely to be damaged. Sensitivity is also higher when warm weather has preceded a freeze night than if the cold temperatures preceded the freeze.

Insurance against spring frost

Risk prevention measures that lead to the heating of the orchard or vineyard environment (propane heaters, wind machines, irrigation above and below trees, smoke, helicopters, etc.) are sometimes not accessible to farmers in time or do not function properly or fully under certain weather conditions. Therefore, the insurance policy still remains the final frontier to compensate financial outcomes, when frost impact mitigation measures do not work in full.

On the other hand, despite the fact that the government subsidizes crop insurance, such protection tools for fruit and berry crops are not accessible for farmers in many CEE countries. It is explained merely by two main reasons. Firstly, insurers are very cautious about such types of farming, as underwriters and loss adjusters are not well experienced in this area, hence, more focused on more understandable and basic field crops. Secondly, historical big losses and several bad years in a row have made insurance companies to reconsider crop insurance conditions by imposing higher deductibles, increasing insurance rates and bringing stricter underwriting and loss adjustment criterion (e.g. covering only late spring frosts in May).

In our view, stronger public-private partnership in agriculture should be needed, such as, educational horticulture programmes for insurance companies, participation of the government in reinsurance schemes, creating greater product awareness in the market through rural associations, linking with other types of financial support, etc., to regain insurers’ confidence in underwriting this type of risk as a sustainable and profitable business in the long term. In its turn, it will make insurance products more accessible and affordable to the segment of horticulture.

Parametric insurance as an alternative frost risk transfer

The parametric (index) spring frost insurance is an innovative way to financially protect owners of orchards, vineyards and fruit/berry processors against the consequences of bad frost years. In most cases, the parametric policy is offered as the only possible way to cover the risk, which is non-insured by a standard crop insurance policy.

With parametric insurance against frost, the event is insured if the minimum temperature within the risk period is below a certain temperature.

As long as such a minimal temperature condition occurs, the farmer gets the specified amount of insurance indemnity depending on the value of the actual temperature.

Despite advantages of parametric solutions, such as transparency, less paperwork and simplicity of insurance compensations, the insurance market faces the big challenges of basis risk and availability of suitable weather data to insure frosts.

Basis risk in parametric (index) insurance means when the index measurements do not match an individual insured’s actual losses. There are two major sources of basis risk in index insurance. One source of basis risk stems from a poorly designed model and the other from geographical elements.

The good frost parametric model should be based on accurate on-site weather data and consider at least, the fruit/berry development stage and the right frost tolerance parameters for specific types and varieties of crops. Additional factors like windspeed, temperature dewpoint and warm preceding days can be also considered in order to enforce the model. However, regardless of the final perfect model, the basis risk cannot be eliminated.

Conclusion

Frost is a big challenge to the resilience of the horticulture supply chain. There are ways to mitigate partially its impact on yields and compensate financial losses thanks to crop and parametric insurance. On the other hand, a lot of work should be done by professional agricultural insurance experts to design the robust insurance scheme, suitable to the farmer’s and fruit/berry processor’s needs.

Used data sources:
Frzweather
Fao.org
Fao.org
Index Insurance Forum

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Maksym Shylov

Group Practice Leader
Food & Agriculture

T +48 22 39 33 211

Terrorism and Political Violence Insurance

For many insurance buyers in Europe Terrorism and Political Violence Insurance remains a niche coverage, although it is often required by financing banks or investors.

A terrorist attack, strike, riot, civil commotion and other types of politically motivated unrest can directly and indirectly affect businesses and human lives. Modern day terrorism is multifaceted and constantly evolving in its nature. An insurance policy cannot save lives, but it can provide for financial remedy to business owners to help them restore damaged property and recover quickly, to minimize financial losses resulting from business interruption or loss of rent or loss of attraction.

For many insurance buyers in Europe Terrorism and Political Violence Insurance remains a niche coverage, although it is often required by financing banks or investors. Despite major events such as 9/11 or Paris attacks, markets have not really seen a significant uplift in demand or price. The approach has changed only a few days after the invasion of Ukraine. Many businesses are looking to buy the coverage and are prepared to purchase it at higher costs. Active war in Ukraine has forced the market to shrink, but it remains largely intact.

Insured interests and perils

Critical infrastructure assets, such as energy and communication, are typically considered high risk. But also, other industrial objects and commercial real estate are often targets of terrorist attacks. Needless to say, that the nature of the risk itself has evolved over the past few decades. Due to high interconnectivity of modern economies, significant financial losses can occur even without a physical damage.

Whilst terrorist attacks, including active assailant or “active shooter” events, are becoming less frequent in certain regions, politically motivated violence or unrest and war is currently on the rise. Such events can cause enormous damage to property and interruption to businesses. Strikes, riots, civil commotions and malicious damage caused by individuals or groups often result in destruction of property and looting. Business owners may even become liable to third parties if they fail or neglect to implement safety and protective measures to safeguard life and property of others which is an exposure insurable under terrorism liability, a line of insurance not widely known.

The policies are written on “named perils” basis, which means that specifically named perils or events are insured. The coverage is granted to specifically scheduled and named property and gross profit. It is recommended to purchase policies on “new for old” basis. Underwriters will require a policy limit, which acts as a Combined Single Limit for property damage and business interruption.

The following coverages are available either separately or as a package:

Critical infrastructure assets, such as energy and communication, are typically considered high risk. But also, other industrial objects and commercial real estate are often targets of terrorist attacks. Needless to say, that the nature of the risk itself has evolved over the past few decades. Due to high interconnectivity of modern economies, significant financial losses can occur even without a physical damage.

There are specific exclusions of course. The aim is to draw clear lines with other, conventional property damage and business interruption coverages and avoid overlaps. Herewith, few key exclusions:

Loss or damage arising from:

  • Nuclear, Chemical, Biological or Radiation contamination or release
  • Seizure, legal or illegal occupation of property, Confiscation, Nationalization, Requisition
  • Electronic attacks – Cyber Terrorism
  • War between any two or more of the following countries: China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (“World War Exclusion”)
  • Direct or indirect threat or hoax.

Standard Coverage does not cover:

  • Land or Land Values
  • Power, transmission or feeder lines not on the Insured’s premises
  • Any building, structure, or property vacant or unoccupied or inoperative for more than thirty days
  • Aircraft or any other aerial device, or watercraft
  • Any land conveyance. including vehicles, locomotives or rolling stock, unless declared and solely located at the property insured herein at the time of its damage
  • Animals, plants and living things of all types
  • Property in transit

Extensions of coverage

In addition to the above-mentioned coverages, there are a number of coverage extensions available, such as:

  • Terrorism liability: covers financial costs incurred by an insured following claim made against them for the damages suffered by third parties or employees who are injured in a terrorist attack at an insured location;
  • Non-physical damage business interruption: unique solution, which addresses the resultant financial burden of terrorism attacks occurring within the surrounding areas of an insured property which do not result in actual physical damage at an insured location;
  • Active assailant / malicious attack: coverage developed to address violent attacks which do not meet the coverage trigger requirements under traditional Terrorism polices, i.e. political, religious or ideological motivation. Initially created to respond to the shooting events which occur within the United States but interest in the coverage has seen an increase in other parts of the world including Europe.

For risk analysis and policy check please contact GrECo Specialty

Risk analysis is very important to understand all possible scenarios in order to create a tailor-made solution. The aim is to minimize the impact of a loss event. We can help you to analyze what might happen after a terrorist attack, political unrest or war. Typically, Terrorism and Political Violence risks are excluded from Property & Construction policies although SRCC (Strike, Riots and Civil Commotion) coverage may be offered by insurers with a sub-limit. But those covers are often subject to a special right of contract termination by the insurer at any time.

We recommend conducting a policy check in order to identify and avoid coverage gaps.

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Zviadi Vardosanidze

Group Practice Leader Energy, Power and Mining

T +43 664 962 39 04

Business jets on the upswing

It remains to be seen how long the current “tailwind” for private aviation will last, but an increase in customers is also expected for the summer months of 2022.

Corona reduced global aircraft movements by more than 75% in 2020 compared to the previous year. Private jet traffic recovered more quickly from the corona low blow than scheduled air traffic.

But what led to the upswing?

Governments provided the first part of the private-flight upswing, bringing double-digit numbers of flights per day to retrieve nationals back from affected regions, especially around the Chinese city of Wuhan. In addition, orders also came in from larger companies to fly out their employees. “It was a reflex, especially after the SARS-virus experience,” says Jeffrey Lowe, chief executive of Hong Kong-based Asian Sky Group. The experience of the travel restrictions or quarantine imposed in the winter of 2002/3 led to this boom.

The second impetus came from the airlines, which had to dramatically reduce or discontinue their services. Flights to China, for example, were suspended until April. Those who still flew at all, such as the Chinese state-owned airlines, for example Air China, under pressure from their government, had limited service. They ramped up security measures in contact between travellers and also to the flying staff: no blankets or pillows and limited in-flight service, served in sealed packets and protective clothing. “Not an experience after which you arrive rested,” reports one business traveller.

Ongoing production and projects, however, made international air travel in business necessary even in corona times. Companies have started to let professionals and top managers travel in private planes. The naturally higher costs also have an advantage: smaller planes can land at provincial airports away from the major airports, travellers are picked up and dropped off directly at the plane, and travel times are based on the passengers’ plans and not on a schedule of scheduled flights.

Not to be neglected are also, as a third trigger of the boom, wealthy private travellers with families who do not want to have their travel plans dictated by a virus. This applies to trips to crisis regions but also to holiday destinations currently not affected, in order to avoid large transfer airports. The costs for this are up to 4,000 EUR for an hour’s flight in smaller jets in normal times, and up to 10,000 EUR with the larger long-haul jets; due to the demand and higher requirements, this can currently be 20% to 50% more.

These surcharges are not only the result of supply and demand, but also due to the increased demands of customers. The requirement that no member of the crew has been in one of the crisis regions for weeks is not uncommon, or the additional disinfection of the jet plus a week’s rest. However, these demands could soon lead to a situation where, even with a surcharge, there may soon no longer be enough aircraft to fulfil all travel wishes.
It remains to be seen how long the current “tailwind” for private aviation will last, but an increase in customers is also expected for the summer months of 2022 . Business flights for high-ranking business travellers are also expected to remain at a high level; the advantages of flexibility already described above are a key factor for this clientele in particular. All in all, new opportunities for the private jet provider.

Image by Kim Hunter from Pixabay

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Patrick Kremer

Account Manager

T +43 5 04 04 – 399

Insurance Market Update Central Eastern Europe (CEE)

Europe coming together – also in insurance

Like in other economic areas, differences between the Eastern European countries and the rest of Europe are also disappearing in insurance. CEE states have travelled a long way after the fall of the Iron Curtain: they started at a very low point of insurance volume, but insurance penetration has steadily been growing, “Western” insurance practices and legislations have been introduced very fast. Today the CEE insurance market consists of both subsidiaries of international groups and strong local companies.

Whereas at the beginning there was only motor insurance and industrial insurance in the focus, the population can by now afford better insurance for their property as well as life insurance. Only liability insurance remains behind, as the jurisdiction is still not at the high level of protecting the interests of claimants like in the rest of Europe.
For this reason, the change in underwriting behaviour we are currently facing is somehow smoother on the CEE markets, but the general strategy of international groups and business exchange with reinsurance will lead to similar situations like in other highly developed markets.
For the most recent developments on the CEE insurance markets we have picked Poland, Czech Republic and Russia as a model for other markets.

Poland

In 2020 the Polish insurance market achieved a premium volume of 20.7 bn PZN (4.6 bn EUR) in Life insurance and 40.7 bn PZN (9 bn EUR) in Non-Life. Insurance penetration stands at 3.7 %, thus reflecting the country’s overall picture as one of the well-advanced economies among the Eastern countries. There is a typical consolidation tendency on the insurance market, as shown by the recent sales between international groups: Nationale Nederlanden bought MetLife, Allianz took over Aviva and Uniqa purchased Axa. Despite these changes, most European insurance groups are active in Poland, contributing largely to the capacity of the market along with major Polish insurer PZU. For overall market figures see:www.piu.org.pl

For many years, Poland has been a rather low-premium market due to high competition and relatively good results in most lines of business. This has changed by now in industrial insurance, where international standards and practices are more and more adopted. So, we have seen the same tendencies like in Western Europe at the last renewal and are expecting them for the renewal(s) to come:

  • more underwriting information required in order to support a policy of selective underwriting, but still no withdrawal from certain branches or occupations;
  • increase of deductibles;
  • price increase in PDBI and Cyber of 10 % – 20 %, and of 20 % – 30 % in D&O, thus more moderate than in other countries.
  • CAR insurance is well developing due to the booming construction industry in the country, but bad loss experience in civil engineering for roads, hydrotechnical plants and tunnelling is leading to a reduction of market capacity, available only at higher price.

One of the great changes the Polish economy will have to face is the transformation from coal as the country’s most important energy source, to other, “green”, sources. Although this will take some time, opportunities for innovation of both the technical bases and insurance solutions will positively influence the insurance market.
Still, one of the main concerns of the insurers is to obtain higher market shares, which leads on the one hand to product innovation and product enrichment in life insurance and to a wild price war on the other.

Czech Republic

The Non-life insurance premium of this traditional industrial nation amounted in 2020 to 94.7 bn CZK (3.6 bn EUR) and the Life insurance premium reached 46.5 bn CZK (1.8 bn EUR). This results in a good average insurance penetration of 3.2 %. Market shares of the insurers working in the country remain stable. After the integration of former state-owned market leader Ceska pojistovna into Generali a short time ago, the market is dominated by the big European insurance groups. Generali will also reach out to integrate their company in neighbouring Slovakia into Generali CZ, thus again creating one market for both countries.
The insurance market has gone well through the Covid-19 pandemic, as the peril was excluded from all wordings except travel insurance. It seems that the market will become interesting for MGAs working with the capacity of German and British insurers. The year 2020 was relatively good for the insurance market with the same claims experience like in the previous year.

  • The general underwriting policy remains unchanged except for some insurance lines like D&O, cyber and similar financial lines, where local carriers follow the approach of the international markets, reducing the capacities and increasing the price by 10 – 20 %.
  • In industrial insurance, pricing remains stable and is rather competitive.
  • There is also a strong tendency to increase prices in motor insurance for all clients with a long-term loss ratio above 60 %. There is a high stability in the scope of coverage provided, with no signs of restrictions.

Russia

The Russian insurance market consists of 229 market players (154 Insurers, 57 Insurance brokers, 18 other insurance related companies), but their number is decreasing (e.g. minus 13 within one year) due to the consolidation between local insurance groups. Despite the enormous size of the nation, business is concentrated in Moscow, with 10 insurers collecting 70 % of the whole market’s premium of 865 bn RUB (10 bn EUR) in non-life and 430.5 bn RUB (4.9 bn EUR) in life insurance.

Supervision of the insurance market by the Central Bank of Russian Federation is quite effective, focusing on financial stability and good business standards, approaching the high levels valid in the European Union. After the restrictive measures by the state in connection with Covid-19 in 2020, the insurance industry is recovering and will reach a growth rate of 8 % in credit and life insurance and of at least 3 % in non-life insurance until the end of 2021.

There is still a soft market for property and casualty insurance, as well as employee benefits and the marine lines, but, like anywhere else, a hard market in financial lines such as D&O, Cyber and Crime. After price increases of 20 – 30 % in D&O in 2020, a further 5 – 10 % rise has been registered at this year’s renewal, all at rather limited capacities. If, in all lines, a major reinsurance share is needed due to the size of the risk, the strategy of the international carriers will influence local underwriting decisions, leading to the well-known price increase and other measures.

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Andreas Krebs

Andreas Krebs

Head of Insurance Mediation Services

T +43 5 0404 229