Sustainable insurance solutions

Posted: 12 February 2020

The 25th climate conference (COP25) in December saw over 25,000 politicians and experts from 190 countries gather to discuss the pressing issue of climate change. With greenhouse gas concentrations reaching record levels1, UN Secretary António Guterres even spoke of ‘the point of no return’ for the planet.

Sustainability is high on most corporate agendas, with companies under pressure to identify methods to reduce their environmental footprint, plus develop more eco-friendly products and solutions. The insurance industry is no different; in 2017, ClimateWise reported a climate risk protection gap of US$1.7trn caused by years of extreme weather and called upon the industry to explore ways to address this.

Opportunities for insurers exist not just through proposition development but also through the claims lifecycle. Recent initiatives in the claims process have explored repair techniques rather than replacement across multiple lines of business, including property and motor.  This has the joint advantage of reducing waste sent to landfill and limiting the strain placed on natural resources for the sourcing and/or production of new parts.

In the commercial property space, the expertise of specialist restoration companies can be leveraged for engineered surface damage repairs on a variety of items, from wooden surfaces to UPVC windows. Allianz has partnered with one such company, Plastic Surgeon, who reported that “of all cases presented to them, only 16% of items were unrepairable”.2 This process has the further benefit of achieving cost and time efficiencies in the claims settlement process.

Another example, this time across motor lines, is the use of ‘green parts’ (undamaged, reusable components from end-of-life vehicles) for certain insurer-funded motor repairs. Once viewed distrustfully as inferior, attitudes to green parts are now becoming favourable, with the knowledge that they are sourced from equivalent vehicles and from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), so the provenance can be clearly tracked. Since these parts are only used with the vehicle owner’s full consent and are subject to careful inspection and grading, policyholders can be reassured of no difference in performance or appearance. Opting for a green part over a brand new replacement may even speed up the repair process, with repairers often able to source readily available parts rather than rely on international supply chains. This may become even more pertinent depending on the outcome of Brexit and its impact on frictionless trade.

Emerging trends, such as electric and autonomous cars, plus connected home devices are also contributing to a more sustainable future. There is much more to do but insurers are paving the way for customers to be able to make greener, more sustainable choices at work and at home. 

This article was originally published in Modern Insurance Magazine (Issue 42). It may not be replicated in any other publications.

The information contained in this press release relates to Allianz Insurance plc. Allianz Insurance plc is one of the largest general insurers in the UK and part of the Allianz Group.

About Allianz Holdings plc

Allianz Holdings plc is the non-regulated holding company which owns the principal insurance operations of Allianz SE in Great Britain.

About Allianz

The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with more than 100 million* private and corporate customers in more than 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing 790 billion euros on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage 1.7 trillion euros of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we are amongst the leaders in the insurance industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2021, over 150,000 employees achieved total revenues of 148.5 billion euros and an operating profit of 13.4 billion euros for the group.

These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below. 

Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements

This document includes forward-looking statements, such as prospects or expectations, that are based on management's current views and assumptions and subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance figures, or events may differ significantly from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Deviations may arise due to changes in factors including, but not limited to, the following: (i) the general economic and competitive situation in the Allianz Group's core business and core markets, (ii) the performance of financial markets (in particular market volatility, liquidity, and credit events), (iii) the frequency and severity of insured loss events, including those resulting from natural catastrophes, and the development of loss expenses, (iv) mortality and morbidity levels and trends, (v) persistency levels, (vi) particularly in the banking business, the extent of credit defaults, (vii) interest rate levels, (viii) currency exchange rates, most notably the EUR/USD exchange rate, (ix) changes in laws and regulations, including tax regulations, (x) the impact of acquisitions including and related integration issues and reorganization measures, and (xi) the general competitive conditions that, in each individual case, apply at a local, regional, national, and/or global level. Many of these changes can be exacerbated by terrorist activities.

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The Allianz Group assumes no obligation to update any information or forward-looking statement contained herein, save for any information we are required to disclose by law.
*Including non-consolidated entities with Allianz customers.

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