Between quarrel and future: the Swiss insurance landscape is arguing and structured

Switzerland. Source: Image by pasja1000 on Pixabay

The Swiss are often accused of being sedate. Apparently, this does not apply to the insurance industry, because both the association and the individual companies are currently looking like after three cups of good coffee. The alignment is being worked on and also argued; which not everyone likes.

Helvetia has had turbulent weeks and months behind it. Because of Covid-19 the house slipped into the red area and had to admit a million decline. In addition, the Swiss got into an expensive legal battle with the celebrity chef Nelson Müller.

But there is also positive news. So (again) invested in the German startup Chargery and entered into a strategic partnership with the IFJ Institute for Young Enterprises.

But that’s not enough. The company currently has a stake in the Spanish peer-to-peer insurer Freshurance. With its Cobertoo product, it offers peer-to-peer insurance for mobile phones in the Spanish market. With the investment, Helvetia wants to find out “the market acceptance of peer-to-peer models” and the “insurance behavior of younger generations”.

Freshurance’s business model is remarkably different. With the peer-to-peer approach, policyholders pay a monthly membership fee of one euro and monthly premiums for the insured mobile phone, the amount of which depends on the relevant model. Freshurance receives the membership fee and 25 percent of the premium. The remaining 75 percent of the premiums go into one pot. Damages are paid for out of this and everything that remains is given back 75 percent to the policyholders in the form of a cash back. The other 25 percent will be donated to charity to NGOs. Cobertoo is in from Fintech Global INSURTECH100 has been included, an annual compilation of the most innovative insurtech companies. If you take a closer look, Cobertoo is more the product and Freshurance the company, but who wants to count peas at this point?.

Insurance is not everything, but …

Baloise is the king of investments. When you open a start-up in Switzerland and often beyond the borders, the first letter you receive is an offer from the insurer to participate. It is irrelevant whether there is a reference to insurance or financial topics. A company in the field of technical real estate testing, of course; a digital service provider for cleaning staff, safe; a digital platform for home and condominium owners, definitely; The list goes on.

dem CEO Gert De Winter it is about the “further development of the classic insurance business“, one wants to break out of the “core business“. But at the moment the bread is still earned with insurance, whereby Corona has left its mark. Nonetheless, a non-life portfolio was bought from Athora in Belgium.

In everyday business you are still busy with (regulatory) regulations, which is why there is currently a contract with Systemorph was signed. The software solution provider for data management solutions for banks and insurance companies and the insurer are responsible for the implementation and operation of the IFRS 17 solution announced for compliance with the regulatory requirements of the new accounting standard. Such investments make it clear that Baloise does not want to get out of business insurance anytime soon.

Swiss Insurance Association (SIA) disputes

The SIA is currently a little bit quarrelsome or ready for conflict. In four days there will be a vote in Switzerland on the “Corporate Responsibility Initiative”. Additional liability provisions are required for companies that have violated internationally recognized human rights and international environmental standards. The Swiss Insurance Association (SIA) speaks out against it and, according to its own statements, has good reasons for doing so. Nevertheless, a position against such a project is daring.

With the Axa, an important member of the SIA has just retired. The company does not agree with “the positions of the association on the EU framework agreement”. That led to “serious differences”.

Axa Switzerland wants to “go its own independent way” in the political dialogue and in future limit itself to “factual contributions on core issues of the insurance industry”. That was probably a final greeting to the SIA and its work.

There is a lot going on in the Swiss insurance world – and houses like Swiss Re were not even discussed.

Author: Maximilian Volz

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