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Protecting consumers while respecting diversity

The European insurance industry continually strives to innovate and to enhance its products and services to meet consumers’ constantly evolving needs and demands. Satisfied customers, who have their needs and demands met, are the key focus of the European insurance industry and the foundation of a viable long-term business model.

In this light, Insurance Europe collected some of the innovative and consumer-focused initiatives by the insurance sector in the fields of innovative products and services, digitalisation, enhanced claims management, transparency and financial education, risk management innovative initiatives, fighting fraud and conduct of business good practices.

Insurance Europe would like to stress that these good practices and innovative products and services presented below were developed with specific national features in mind, such as national regulatory frameworks and local consumers’ needs, which — like companies — can differ significantly between EU countries. Insurance products and services are therefore not directly transferable from one market to another. Supervisors at national and European level should thoroughly assess their own regulatory, structural and cultural environment as well as their existing powers, before considering any new initiative.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Innovative products and services
    •  
      Belgium
      • In 2011 a voluntary moratorium on the distribution of particularly complex structured products was agreed between the insurance and banking industries and the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA). Under the terms of the moratorium, distributors of structured products said they would not distribute products that are considered particularly complex, based on a test proposed by the FSMA. More information is available here.
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      Czech Republic
      • Insurers in the Czech Republic offer to install various telematics devices to enable customers to benefit from assistance services, pay-as-you-drive policies or the tracing of stolen vehicles.
      • Insurers in the Czech Republic offer a range of innovative products which cover risks associated with various lifestyle diseases and that provide insured people with additional income to that provided by public social security schemes. Some insurance products are also components of preventive programs organised by insurers (eg in the prevention of breast cancer).
    •  
      Denmark
      • An agreement with the Danish Ministry of Business and Growth, means that the pension sector should promote a more "market based" business model. As a result, several new hybrid products are being developed to combine the higher degree of freedom of investment — and hence higher expected return — on the one hand, and on the other hand the request from scheme members for a minimum level of certainty and predictability of future pension benefits.
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      Finland
      • The creation of four new private hospitals by the OP Financial Group in Finland, which have expanded into new fields of specialised medicine and occupational health, mean that health insurance clients will receive a much quicker service. Clients from other insurance companies will also be able to receive treatment at these hospitals. More information on this initiative can be found here.
      • In 2014, the Finnish insurance company, LähiTapiola, established a service called “TerveysHelppi” (HealthHelp), which is a call centre where insurance clients can receive free advice from health professionals (eg nurses etc). The call centre provides them with advice on what kind of treatment they need, what is the basic coverage of the insurance and where to treat their problems (in which doctor/health center).
      • LähiTapiola is running a six month pilot with a new health insurance product, called “intelligent life insurance”, where the customer receives a fitness tracker, an online health check and health-related information from different digital sources. The pilot runs from June 2015 until the end of 2015. The aim of the pilot is to bring benefits to customers by encouraging healthy lifestyle, preventing illnesses in good time and providing more information about health-related matters. LähiTapiola will only use the information it receives from the fitness tracker in an aggregated form.
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      France
      • In France "Eurocroissance" funds, which were created by the 2013 Finance Act, aim to integrate new funds into existing life insurance contracts in order to offer an interesting alternative to euro funds and unit-linked funds. "Eurocroissance" offers a guarantee of the amount invested in the fund at least equal to 100% at a given horizon of at least eight years. This initiative aims to promote the contribution of life insurance in financing the economy as it allows "for greater financing of businesses than the traditional Euro funds", and providing consumers with a return of the initial amount invested under requested conditions fulfilled, therefore providing the option to improve returns whilst limiting risk.
      • In France the Garantie des Accidents de la Vie (GAV) label  is used for insurance policies that provide cover against serious accidents. Policies with this label provide minimum guaranties that include quick claims management and minimum compensation in the event of serious injury as a result of an accident.
      • In France the "Garantie Assurance Dépendance" (GAD) label means that insurers cannot request medical formalities before the age of 50, and that a guaranteed annuity, and assistance services are provided.
      • For at least 10-15 years in optics, and 5-8 years in dental and hearing aids, healthcare networks have been put in place by French complementary insurance professionals and bodies. These include commitments on prices, which limits the costs to be borne by the insured.
    •  
      Germany
      • The GDV has developed and implemented together with its members a voluntary transfer agreement for funded occupational pensions (Übertragungsabkommen, update 2010). The agreement has proven successfully in practice. 
      • In 2009 the German insurers founded an umbrella institution for occupational retirement provision (Versorgungsausgleichskasse) for taking over some pension products in case of splitting of entitlements to provision for old age and disability (pension rights adjustment, Versorgungsausgleich) acquired during marriage.
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      Hungary
      • In Hungary standardised General Terms of Agreement structures for household insurance products were developed in 2013 and have been adopted by several insurance companies. Their aim is to make various insurance products comparable and transparent for consumers.
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      Italy
      • In Italy, black boxes systems, increasingly embedded in motor vehicles by insurance companies, provide consumers with access to specific motor third-party liability (MTPL) as well as other services. For instance, at the end of 2014, the number of vehicles with on board operative black boxes was more than 3 million.
    •  
      Malta
      • The Maltese Market has seen gradual introduction of telematics aimed at ensuring "responsible and careful" driving by younger drivers.
    •  
      Netherlands
      • Dutch insurers have developed a "quality mark". This quality mark is maintained and developed by an independent foundation. Insurers seeking this quality mark need to comply with very high standards of internal processes, customer communication and response times to calls/emails etc. About 50 of the 200+ insurers in the Netherlands currently have this quality mark.
    •  
      Sweden
      • Swedish occupational defined contribution (DC) schemes are normally member-directed. Providers of collectively agreed schemes (covering approx. 90 % of the Swedish workforce) have to offer products that fulfil certain criteria stipulated by the social partners. The products can be unit-linked insurance or traditional life insurance, or a combination of products, and may therefore include risk-sharing and a guarantee. This means that, and in spite of the fact that the scheme is DC, the designated providers under the schemes may take over risk from the employee as a result of product design.
    •  
      United Kingdom
      • Telematics and the use of data by insurers is growing in the UK. It is used to both bring down costs for consumers and to increase transparency.
      • The government introduced a new law in 2012 to help people save more for their retirement. It requires every employer to automatically enrol their employees into a workplace pension and gives more flexibility in the retirement options for UK defined contribution (DC) pension scheme members. Following the introduction of the law insurers are going beyond what is required in order to allow customers to take cash lump sums, and are also offering products that combine both flexibility and security. More information can be found here.
  • Digitalisation
    •  
      Belgium
      • In Belgium an interactive application was created in November 2014 to assist victims of physical injury in receiving compensation. More information can be found here.
      • The DB2P database provides information on occupational pension arrangements in Belgium. As of 2016, members of the occupational pension will also be able to learn about their individual pension rights from this database. More information can be accessed here.
    •  
      Czech Republic
      • Czech insurers provide various mobile phone applications with various educative or preventive functions to help customers minimise losses. For example, some applications alert users to coming bad weather so that they can prevent damage to their property. Other alert users to the fact that they are crossing the border of the country, so they should consider taking out travel insurance. Other applications allow users to take out insurance or to make a claim.
      • Czech insurers offer policyholders online electronic access to their insurance contracts, and some have begun to use a biometric signature.
    •  
      Denmark
      • "Forsikringsguiden" is a comparison website, created and run by the Danish Insurance Association, which provides consumers with a tool to compare terms and prices on the five main consumer insurance products. The website covers products from 16 different insurance companies, covering approximately 90 products. Once the consumer has completed the comparison, the site can guide the consumer directly to their preferred insurance company.
      • "PensionsInfo", which was first launched in 1999, is a comprehensive tracking tool allowing each Dane to access an overview of their entire pension entitlements in pillars 1, 2 and 3. Thanks to this service, pension providers can also flag dormant pension rights to the individual and prompt them to check whether it would be profitable to transfer the pot to a new scheme. The tool also presents related insurance covers.
      • "Fakta om pension" is a Danish web portal showing comparable information on costs, returns, level of service and advice for all pension companies. In 2015 a new version was launched, which improved usability and includes new information on net return and fees.
      • "The cost initiative" (2007-2010) means that each Danish pension company provides a calculation tool on its website showing the total costs that are to be expected when joining a particular pension scheme.
      • An electronic-based system to allow customers to change insurer was set up by the Danish Insurance Association 15 years ago and is continuously being improved. This system supports the smooth and efficient handling of customers’ change of insurance company.
      • The digitalised registration of new cars in Denmark, including third part liability insurance, began in 2012.
    •  
      Finland
      • In Finland the amount of claims made online has risen from 32% in 2010 to 58% in 2014, which shows the tendency of insurance companies to offer an increasing number of different digital and innovative services for their clients including in the field of claims management.
    •  
      France
      • Five million paper motor accident reports are handled by French insurers each year. To make it easier for policyholders to report a motor accident, the French insurers launched an official free mobile phone application on 1 December 2014. This application allows policyholders to report their motor accidents directly to their insurers from a smartphone.  The application can also speed up the processing and settlement of claims. More information is available here.
    •  
      Germany
      • The Trusted German Insurance Cloud (TGIC) is a secure cloud infrastructure for the insurance industry and its communication partners and customers. It is the first cloud solution in Germany certified by the Federal Office for Information Security. With standardised authentication mechanisms and a strong data encryption TGIC provides a secure communication platform for the insurance industry.
    •  
      Hungary
      • Since 2010, the Hungarian association has operated a motor third-party liability (MTPL) aggregator website ("Díjnavigátor"), which allows customers to calculate and compare the MTPL premiums of all insurance companies in a transparent way.
    •  
      Italy
      • In Italy a process to replace paper insurance windshield stickers with an electronic alternative is currently underway.
      • The ANIA Foundation for Road Safety’s"Black Point" project addresses the fact that accidents in Italy are often caused by the presence of construction/maintenance faults in existing infrastructure. The project aims to provide information on the role of such faults in road accidents, allowing for a more thorough analysis of the phenomenon to be made.
      • ANIA has published a calculator estimating pensions and complementary pension schemes in Italy on its website. More information is available here.
    •  
      Norway
      • In 2008 the Norwegian government allocated funds so that the Norwegian Consumer Council could start developing a price comparison portal for insurance. Both insurance companies and Finance Norway have since been active partners in developing this portal.
      • The www.norskpensjon.no website allows Norwegian citizens to calculate their pension income.
    •  
      Spain
      • In Spain, a tool is being developed to allow policyholders to report their motor accidents to insurers from a smartphone. The tool has been launched during the summer of 2015.
    •  
      Sweden
      • In 2014, the Swedish insurance association launched the microsite "Ersättningskollen", where consumers can access standardised information on the total compensation paid in case of sickness, an accident or occupational injuries.
      • The Swedish pension tracking system, Min Pension ("My Pension"), was established in 2004. On the website, consumers get a full picture of their actual total pension rights and savings in all three pillars, and can also receive a free estimate of their total future pension.
      • The Konsumenternas Försäkringsbyrå (KFB) website, which is backed by the Swedish Consumer Agency, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority and Insurance Sweden, offers independent comparisons of insurance products, including a grading of the products.
  • Enhanced claims management
    •  
      Belgium
      • Standard claims management documents were developed in 2013 and include all the information that Belgian insurers need to manage claims emanating from physical injuries. An interactive version is also under development. More information is available here. More information available here.
      • Belgian insurers have reached an agreement which accelerates the compensation of an innocent victim. This agreement has been in place for many years in Belgium, but recently the agreement has been extended to innocent victims – regardless of the branch of insurance involved.
      • In 2013 a "tour de garde" was organised between assistance insurers to help the processing of claims involving Belgian citizens abroad.
      • In 2008 the Belgian government developed, in close collaboration with the insurance industry, a legal framework regarding dormant life insurance assets. This obliges insurance companies to actively search for the beneficiaries of dormant life insurance contracts. More information can be accessed here.
      • In Belgium an interactive application was created in November 2014 to assist victims of physical injury in receiving compensation. More information can be found here.
    •  
      Czech Republic
      • In the Czech Republic insurers offer motor third party liability (MTPL) insurance policies which allow a policyholder who suffers an injury during a car accident to submit the claim to their MTPL insurer who settles the claim directly. Compensation is provided and recourses for its expenses from the MTPL insurer of the party at-fault are undertaken in a second stage.
      • Czech insurers provide various mobile phone applications with various educative or preventive functions to help customers minimise losses. For example, some applications alert users to coming bad weather so that they can prevent damage to their property. Other alert users to the fact that they are crossing the border of the country, so they should consider taking out travel insurance. Other applications allow users to take out insurance or to make a claim.
    •  
      Denmark
      • In 2014, a new prompting solution was introduced for employees on sick leave in Denmark. This consists of a letter from the authorities inviting policyholders to contact their pension or insurance company to collect benefits or receive services aimed at rehabilitation.
    •  
      Estonia
      • On 1 January 2015 direct settlement of motor third-party liability (MTPL) insurance was introduced in Estonia. Currently about 30% claims are handled by consumers’ own insurers.
    •  
      Finland
      • In Finland the amount of claims made online has risen from 32% in 2010 to 58% in 2014, which shows the tendency of insurance companies to offer an increasing number of different digital and innovative services for their clients including in the field of claims management.
    •  
      France
      • Five million paper motor accident reports are handled by French insurers each year. To make it easier for policyholders to report a motor accident, the French insurers launched an official free mobile phone application on 1 December 2014. This application allows policyholders to report their motor accidents directly to their insurers from a smartphone.  The application can also speed up the processing and settlement of claims. More information is available here.
    •  
      Germany
      • German insurers have established a simplified procedure for claims-handlings after multiple-vehicle collisions.
    •  
      Hungary
      • The Association of Hungarian Insurance Companies (MABISZ) Contact Centre, which began operating in September 2010, handles complaints filed against member insurance companies in Hungary. This is beneficial for customers who receive feedback much faster due to the effective mediatory activities of the Hungarian association. This has resulted in a continual reduction in the number of complaints filed against insurance companies (mainly in motor insurance) over the last few years.
    •  
      Malta
      • Through its Motor Insurance Repair Efficiency programme, the Maltese association works closely with the Maltese authorities in improving standards in the auto repair industry.
    •  
      Sweden
      • Consumers who are not satisfied with an insurance company´s decision on a particular claim can apply to Insurance Sweden´s review boards ("Svensk Försäkrings Nämnder"). These boards, which each deal with a specific area of insurance, have been in place for many years and provide a way to deal with disputes between policyholders and insurance companies. Applications are free of charge.
      • Although not directly involved in dispute settlements, the Konsumenternas Försäkringsbyrå (KFB), which is backed by the Swedish Consumer Agency, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority and Insurance Sweden, will relay information on problems identified by consumers to the insurance companies concerned. Established already in 1979, the KFB is considered by the companies as an increasingly important feedback channel.
    •  
      United Kingdom
      • The Association of British Insurers has recently carried out an analysis of 6.9 million claims handled by 19 insurers for the most common insurance claims made during 2013 and 2014. The analysis covered 4.3 million motor claims, 1.8 million home insurance claims and 800 000 travel insurance claims. It showed that 99% of motor claims were successful (average claim paid: £2,160), 87% of travel insurance claims (average claim paid: £2,520) and 79% of home insurance claims (average claim paid: £884). The industry continues to raise consumer awareness to reduce scope for declined home and travel claims.
  • Transparency and Financial Education
    •  
      Austria
      • The Insurance Light Switch booklet (der Versicherungsleitfaden, 16th edition) describes the main types of insurance product types available in Austria and provides practical tips for consumers.
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      Belgium
    •  
      Cyprus
      • The Cypriot insurance guide for consumers — developed by the Insurance Association of Cyprus and PwC — provides information in the form of 150 questions and answers on the needs of individuals and households.
    •  
      Czech Republic
      • Self-regulatory arrangements on disclosure of information were agreed by Czech insurers in 2014. The Czech Insurance Association also developed a set of four self-regulatory recommendations intending to increase comprehensibility, comparability and transparency of life insurance products with savings/investment element.
      • From 2007 to 2010 the Czech Insurance Association developed and implemented a very comprehensive standard for calculating and disclosing costs.
      • The Czech Insurance Association made a recommendation for a "pension overview" that ensures that consumers get the six most important pieces of information upfront from their provider. The comparison tool "comparing pensions" makes it easy to compare the results from all pension providers cost calculators.
      • The www.pojistimajetek.cz website provides detailed descriptions of all property insurance products, answers to frequently asked questions and advice on common errors and myths. Also includes a dictionary of insurance terms.
      • The www.pojistizivot.cz website provides descriptions of life insurance products and answers to frequently asked questions.
    •  
      Denmark
      • Since 2014, all Danish insurers must list all the taxes/fees which they charge when consumers buy or exchange insurance products on their websites. These lists of taxes/fees help consumers to compare prices and products across companies and ensure transparency.
      • Since around 1990 the Danish insurance and banking sectors have annually set up common preconditions for calculating projected pension benefits. These projections assure comparability between the offers from different companies.
      • "Danmarks mest uheldige"is an awareness campaign focused on young Danish adults, one third of whom are uninsured. The tagline is "Shit happens – and when it does, it is a bummer to be uninsured"
      • "PensionsInfo", which was first launched in 1999, is a comprehensive tracking tool allowing each Dane to access an overview of their entire pension entitlements in pillars 1, 2 and 3. Thanks to this service, pension providers can also flag dormant pension rights to the individual and prompt them to check whether it would be profitable to transfer the pot to a new scheme. The tool also presents related insurance covers.
      • "Fakta om pension" is a Danish web portal showing comparable information on costs, returns, level of service and advice for all pension companies. In 2015 a new version improved usability and included new information on net return and fees was launched.
      • "The cost initiative" (2007-2010) means that each Danish pension company on its’ website provides a calculation tool showing the total costs to be expected when joining a particular pension scheme.
      • The www.forsikringsguiden.dk website provides a comparison of prices and coverage for the most common types of Danish consumer insurance.
      • The Danish Association (Forsikring & Pension) provides insurance advice by phone or e-mail to Danish insurance consumers. More information available here.
    •  
      Finland
      • The Federation of Finish Financial Services has contributed to curriculums and study materials in schools through the Ministry of Education and Culture. For example, in 2014, these included statements in compulsory, upper secondary and vocational school materials.
      • The Federation of Finish Financial Services has initiated a national strategy for the improvement of financial literacy in Finland. The strategy work began in early 2014, and is being carried out together with the Advisory Council on Financial Management.
      • The annual Talousguru ("Economic Guru") competition targets pupils aged between 16 and 19. The competition is organised co-operatively by the Federation of Finish Financial Services and its partners.
      • In 2014, the Finnish insurance company, LähiTapiola, established a service called "TerveysHelppi" (HealthHelp), which is a call centre where insurance clients can receive free advice from health professionals (eg nurses etc). The call centre provides them with advice on what kind of treatment they need, what is the basic coverage of the insurance and where to treat their problems (in which doctor/health center).
      • Since 2009, the www.keepitrolling.fi website aims to present the industry in a comprehensible and easily approachable manner, with stories from employees and information on education.
      • The FFI has produced online study materials on the financial sector, which were updated in 2013 and are still in use.
      • Since 2010 the FFI has been a co-operating partner of Junior Achievement Finland, which provides extensive training in financial and entrepreneurial matters.
      • Zaldo is an interactive website for 9th grade students and their teachers. It is part of a campaign where the Federation of Finish Financial Services visited schools to enhance financial literacy.
    •  
      France
      • A book of all professional requirements and commitments was adopted and is regularly reviewed by FFSA and GEMA. These commitments aim to ensure a higher level of information, to be provided to French policyholders as to the conditions in which their demands and application are processed.
      • In 2012 a joint declaration was made by UNOCAM (l’Union nationale des organismes d’assurance maladie complémentaire) members regarding to best practices and commitments providing readability and clarity of guarantees included in the insurance complementary contracts in France. More information here.
    •  
      Germany
      • A reduction-in-yield (RIY) indicator was introduced with the German life insurance reform act of 2014. All life insurance policies must contain key indicators regarding the impact of all costs. In fact, this indicator was already recommended by the GDV on a non-binding basis for all life insurance products ever since 2011. More information available here.
      • In recent years GDV developed non-binding recommendations on the pre-contractual and on-going information provisions on performance of life insurance and pension products (Leistungsdarstellung in der Lebensversicherung, 2008; Wertmitteilungen bei Riester, 2009). The recommendation on the on-going information document for life and pension products is being updated in 2015.
      • The "Safety 1st" tool/website is aimed at young adults and their teachers, providing them with an accessible introduction to social insurance and private pensions.
      • With the serious game “Way of life”, available online and as mobile application, young adults can practice making decisions in different relevant fields of life, e. g. in economy and finance.
      • The German insurers are offering a pension calculator on their website. Users can check their individual pension status in a few easy steps. 
    •  
      Greece
      • Due to the reform of the Greek health and social security system, the Hellenic Association of Insurance Companies (HAIC) felt it was important to inform consumers about the operation of private insurance health sector in very plain language. This information is displayed both on the HAIC’s website and the websites of its member companies. In addition, some of HAIC’s members use it as a tool for their communication with their customers.
      • The Hellenic Association of Insurance Companies (HAIC) has drafted material to highlight the changes in the new law regarding MTPL. This information was communicated by HAIC’s member companies to their insureds and it is displayed on the HAIC’s website.
    •  
      Hungary
      • The "Unit-linked Total Cost Indicator" (TKM), developed by the Hungarian association, allows customers to compare the costs of unit-linked life products. The TKM index demonstrates the global cost and charges in one single number as reduction in yield. This information makes possible for customers to compare the products in a transparent and easy way, and to understand the significance of cost level. The index is also being considered in the preparatory works of the packaged retail investment and insurance-based investment products (PRIIPs) regulation. The indicator will also be adopted and made compulsory by the National Bank of Hungary.
      • The Hungarian association is a supporting member of a large financial education programme called "Our daily home finance" (Mindennapipénzügyeink) which aims to increase the public’s level of financial knowledge. It has launched a facebook page to support the programme.
      • Since 2010, the Hungarian association has operated a motor third-party liability (MTPL) aggregator website ("Díjnavigátor"), which allows customers to calculate and compare the MTPL premiums of all insurance companies in a transparent way.
    •  
      Ireland
      • The Irish federation participates in the "Money Skills for Life" programme by offering free financial education at workplaces. Companies can sign up for the programme and receive expertise from the Federation’s members. (http://financialeducation.ie/)
    •  
      Italy
      • "Io & i rischi" is an Italian educational programme for schools, that is focussed on the following concepts: risks, risk and damage management, social and economic value principles to in sharing the burden of risks, managing resources according to medium and long- term goals, and the prevention of post-employment life.
      • All pension products in Italy must now include a tool that allows consumers to calculate costs they face if the product is maintained for 2, 5, 10 and 35 years. ANIA has published a calculator estimating pensions and complementary pension schemes in Italy on its website as well as on the Supervision Authority website. This tool must be inserted in the documentation published on the pension scheme website and be given to the customer.
    •  
      Malta
      • The Maltese association participates at a careers convention organised by the Malta University, which promotes the insurance industry as a long-term career.
    •  
      Netherlands
      • Fix je risk is a game produced the Dutch association for young people to inform them about different insurance products to cover risks in their daily life.
      • The Dutch association participates in the Money Week. During the Money Week the financial services and insurance industry organise initiatives for schools to raise awareness among kids.
      • The www.vanatotzekerheid.nl website provides consumer information arranged by "life events", such as getting married, buying a house or travelling abroad.  
    •  
      Norway
      • Finance Norway and the Nordic non-life insurance companies have, on their own initiative, established an accreditation scheme for sellers and advisers in insurance. The system  ensures the necessary knowledge, attitudes and skills of sales staff and advisers at a national level.
      • The www.norskpensjon.no website allows Norwegian citizens to calculate their pension income.
      • In 2008 the Norwegian government allocated funds so that the Norwegian Consumer Council could start developing a price comparison portal for insurance. Both insurance companies and Finance Norway have been active partners in developing this portal, which is now fully operational.
    •  
      Portugal
      • The Portuguese Insurance Association, APS,  has developed an “insurance and citizenship” financial education website for children. The website revolves around teen band, which is travelling around Portugal and is encountering some problems along the way. It includes games, videos, books, interactive tools and an insurance library.
    •  
      Spain
      • Some guidelines on "Good Practices for Transparency in Insurance Commercialisation" were published in July 2014 by the Spanish association. This guide was the culmination of a process of self-regulation in transparency for consumers.
      • UNESPA (the Spanish Insurers Association) and Tirea (an IT company for insurers) have developed an app that will enable people to find out what compensation for bodily injuries should be granted according to the renewed Spanish injuries evaluation system for traffic road accidents (Baremo). This app is already operational and it can be used free of all charge. It will be especially useful to traffic road victims, judges, lawyers, attorneys, doctors and any other person involved in the settlement of a traffic accident.
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      Sweden
      • The Swedish pension tracking system, Min Pension ("My Pension"), was established in 2004. On the website, consumers get a full picture of their actual total pension rights and savings in all three pillars, and can also receive a free estimate of their total future pension. The recommendation is based on a "comply or explain" approach.
      • In October 2014, Insurance Sweden issued a recommendation on pension terminology. This recommendation states that companies shall use the terminology and definitions given in the formal Swedish Standard "Pensionstermer" (Pension terms), complemented by the list of "Pensionstermer för konsumenter" (Pension terms for consumers). The recommendation is based on a "comply or explain" approach. More information can be accessed here.
      • In October 2014 Insurance Sweden also issued a recommendation on pre-purchase information. This recommendation aims to ensure that companies present pre-purchase information in an educational and accessible way. Moreover, the companies shall clearly point out what major areas are not covered by a particular insurance policy. The recommendation is based on a "comply or explain" approach.
      • In June 2015, Insurance Sweden issued a recommendation on the information to be provided to policyholders in connection with portability of pension insurance. The recommendation includes special fact sheets for the comparison of the most essential product information relevant for transferring a pension, including both the present and the potential new product. The recommendation is based on a “comply or explain” approach. Work is underway to complement this recommendation with key ratios for costs and charges. 
      • The Konsumenternas Försäkringsbyrå (KFB) website, which is backed by the Swedish Consumer Agency, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority and Insurance Sweden, offers independent comparisons of insurance products, including a grading of the products. This guidance is free of charge, and consumers can choose to use the KFB website or to contact KFB directly to compare and evaluate products before a purchase or to get help with complaints and other problems related to consumer insurance.
      • Insurance Sweden issued an extensive report on consumer information in 2013.
      • In 2014, the Swedish insurance association launched the microsite "Ersättningskollen", where consumers can access standardised information on the total compensation paid in case of sickness, an accident or occupational injuries.
    •  
      United Kingdom
      • The UK industry supported the establishment of the new "Pension Wise" service, which was set up throughout 2014 and has been operational since 6 April 2015. Pension Wise aims to help consumers understand their new retirement options, following recent pension reforms. It includes examples of standardised documents which can be included in providers’ retirement communications to signpost consumers to Pension Wise.
      • The pensions industry is currently working with the Government to agree a framework for the disclosure of transaction costs for workplace pensions with the establishment of Independent Governance Committees (IGCs). Transaction costs will be disclosed to IGCs and trustees from 2015, and will be calculated and presented using a standardised format from April 2016.
  • Risk management innovative initiatives
    •  
      Belgium
      • A database has been put in place since 2010 which provides the Belgian authorities with 24hr contact with insurers who provide assistance coverage to drivers involved in case of accident or breakdown.
    •  
      Czech Republic
      • In 2014, the Czech Insurers Bureau started to use a 4-digit phone number to make it easier for motorists to call road-side assistance services which are covered by their motor insurance policies.
    •  
      Estonia
      • In Estonia several initiatives were introduced to improve public safety and awareness of traffic related risks, including a free check of vehicles loss history on the association’s website in order to avoid fraud in used car sales and a mapping device to show where traffic accidents had occurred, and what were the causes and consequences.
    •  
      France
      • Recent consumer rights legislation in France gave the right to insureds to cancel a motor/multi-risk home insurance contract at any time after the first year with one month’s notice. A professional agreement was developed in 2014 by the FFSA and GEMA (Assureurs Mutualistes) to facilitate the necessary formalities that must be carried out between the new and old insurer, including, for example, mandatory information that needs to be included in the letter between insurers that will secure risk identification. This commitment was approved in January 2015.
      • The www.assureurs-prevention.fr website provides information for French consumers on accident prevention.
    •  
      Germany
      • The German flood resilience certificate (Hochwasserpass) is a web-based tool to identify flood risk potential, which poses questions and offers flood resilience recommendations free of charge. This tool can be upgraded, with experts’ advice, to a flood resilience certificate. This, in turn, makes risk assessment of highly exposed risks by insurance companies easier and, therefore, broadens the market for consumers.
      • The compass for natural threats (Kompass Naturgefahren) is a public information system in Germany which contains geocoded data on natural catastrophe perils. It helps to encourage consumers to take out preventative measures on an individual and local basis (eg against flooding).
      • The www.udv.de website (in English www.udv.de/en) provides German insurers’ accident research on road safety, including crash tests (available via YouTube) and a database of electronic stability control in all cars sold in Germany since 2006.
      • The GDV is an official partner of a national campaign to raise awareness of road safety. 
    •  
      Italy
      • "Drive in Italy" is a 2014 project by the ANIA Foundation for Road Safety which aims to integrate foreign citizens with a driver’s license valid in Italy. This includes improving the foreign drivers’ knowledge of Italian traffic rules, spreading responsible behaviours behind the wheel and offering practical training to tackle the dangers one can face while driving.
      • The ANIA Foundation for Road Safety’s "Black Point" project addresses the fact that accidents in Italy are often caused by the presence of construction/maintenance faults in existing infrastructure. The project aims to provide information on the role of such faults in road accidents, allowing for a more thorough analysis of the phenomenon to be made.
    •  
      Malta
      • The Maltese association issues annual media releases with information to help the general public to prepare themselves for the first autumn showers and storms.
      • The Maltese association was, in April 2015, appointed as a member of the Road Safety Council created by the Ministry of Transport and Transport Malta. The council’s objective is to promote safer driving in Malta, and to lower injuries and fatalities over a five year horizon and recommend improvements to network infrastructure.
    •  
      Netherlands
      • Dutch insurers have signed approximately seven safety deals in the last one and half years.  A safety deal is a declaration or contract with other institutions (public/private) in which insurers, together with the other organisations, set safety goals on which they want to work together.
    •  
      Norway
      • The approval board of insurance companies in Norway dealing with the technical loss prevention system is called FG. A new IT-solution (a database) called "FG-control" was created to be used by insurance companies, certified inspectors and owners of buildings. The database is managed by Finance Norway. It was applied in 2014 to provide for an overview of the level of risk for buildings safety systems (eg. Fire detection and fire alarm systems, alarm systems intruder, electrical systems and fixed firefighting systems.)
      • Finance Norway is responsible for a system that delivers insurance information about vehicles to the national vehicle register. The system called TFFAuto is notably used by the national authorities to deregister uninsured vehicles.
    •  
      United Kingdom
      • The UK’s "Flood Re" scheme is a not-for-profit flood reinsurance fund, owned and managed by the insurance industry, and established to ensure that those domestic properties in the UK at the highest risk of flooding can receive affordable cover for the flood element of their household property insurance. The law setting it up was passed in May 2014.
  • Initiatives to fight insurance fraud
    •  
      Belgium
      • In March 2013 there was a sectoral agreement introducing recommendations related to the fight against fraud strategy in the insurance sector in Belgium.
    •  
      Denmark
      • The Danish insurance industry has developed a branch code of conduct for investigating insurance fraud and suspicious insurance events, based on a very detailed legal review created by a highly respected university professor. The branch code regulates what specific measures the insurance company may take in any given situation. The code is followed by all members of the Danish Insurance Industry.
      • Most, if not all, insurance fraud investigators in the business are former active police officers, who have all worked in a professional manner prior to their current occupation. Every insurance fraud investigator continuously takes part in internal and external training courses, among others at the Danish Insurance Academy. The Danish association and insurance investigators jointly conduct training courses in combating insurance fraud at the police academy.
    •  
      Estonia
      • In Estonia several initiatives were introduced to improve public safety and awareness of traffic related risks, including a free check of vehicles loss history on the association’s website in order to avoid fraud in used car sales and a mapping device to show where traffic accidents had occurred, and what were the causes and consequences.
    •  
      France
      • ALFA (Association de Lutte contre la Fraude à l’Assurance) implemented an "observatory" to monitor fraudulent practices in the French insurance sector in order to provide qualitative analysis of the phenomenon, especially in view of identifying new operating modes.
      • ALFA intervenes in the context of training/certifying systems dedicated to members of the French federation of liability insurance experts in the field of household fires. Every year thousands of private investigations are conducted by insurers into claims suspected of being fraudulent. In order to ensure the level of competences of those investigators — whose profession is subject to regulation — the ALFA implemented with the French national organisation for standardisation (the AFNOR) a certification system for private investigators respecting the ISO 17024 standards. The entire system is constantly evolving and updated, particularly regarding the skills framework.
      • The French industry has helped to develop recommendations regarding the fight against fraud in terms of delegated administration.
      • In terms of how warnings are disseminated, whenever a new type of fraud is identified, a note describing it is sent to the members of the ALFA. A list of types of fraud known by the ALFA is regularly updated and disseminated to a growing distribution list.
      • Given that medical aspects must be taken into account in the fight against fraud, both in life and non-life insurance (in case of bodily injuries), ALFA appointed a doctor specialised in issues relating to insurance fraud to its team in 2014. In May 2015, a medical committee dedicated to the issue of fraud and gathering together medical experts will be launched in order to identify and organised several common actions to be led.
      • An insurance compliance pack cooperation agreement was agreed between the Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (CNIL) and the insurance actors to establish legal tools and simplified procedures, and good practices specially adapted to the concerned professional sector (fact sheets), anti-fraud measures, best practices, better commercial and marketing management and data collection. This package was presented officially on 12 November 2014 and is made of two simplified rules and three single authorisations. It aims at giving to the insurance sector a set of rules in the framework of the French data protection act. The single authorisation related to fight against fraud came into force in July 2014. Consequently, the process of those data is standardised due to its submission to a single regulation tool and respects both the data protection rules and consumers’ fundamental rights recognised at national and European level.
    •  
      Germany
      • The German insurance industry has created an information system to combat fraud. Data protection authorities have been involved in the development of the Insurance Risk and Fraud Database (HIS). Transparency is a key element of the system: affected customers are notified if reported to the system and have the right to request access. 
    •  
      Norway
      • Finance Norway and its Financial Crime Unit publish an annual trend report examining the threats faced by the Norwegian industry is conducted and effective procedures are established for the exchange of information and for collaboration with the police, the Norwegian Welfare and Labour Administration, the Norwegian Business and Security Council and various other industry bodies.
    •  
      Slovakia
      • An insurance fraud prevention section created by Slovak Insurance Association (SLASPO) to help insurers fight against the insurance fraud. The manager of the section prepares and organises workshops to educate insurance employees.
  • Conduct of business good practices
    •  
      Belgium
      • In 2014 Assuralia developed non-binding sectoral questionnaires that are now used in sales discussions between intermediaries and their customers. These documents provide a way to analyse the customer’s demands and needs, as well as the suitability or appropriateness of products (where relevant) and document the final outcome of the conversation with the customer (advised or non-advised sale). The questionnaires were developed together with the Belgian broking federations and the Belgian national supervisor. This ensures that the questionnaires are easily understood by customers, by making them familiar with the general questions.
      • An agreement concluded between Assuralia and the Ministry of Defence gives more clarity and security to military staff on a mission abroad as to (the conditions for) the preservation of a death coverage concluded while on their mission.
    •  
      Denmark
      • Since 2004, Danish consumers have had the opportunity to cancel a contract within the term of the contract. The period of notice is one month.
      • Since 1975 Danish consumers can solve disputes without going to court and instead complain through the Insurance Complaints Board.
    •  
      Estonia
      • An administration of car bodywork calculation software was upgraded in Estonia in 2014. The standard was adopted in order to smooth the claims handling process and avoid disputes over the cost of the bodywork. The use of the association’s database has become a standard for state and local authorities regarding planning of roads.
      • Free evaluation of vehicles before-the-accident market value has been available in Estonia since 2013.
      • The Estonian Conciliation Body (ADR), which was launched in April 2011 and is administered by the Estonian Insurance Association, means that an insurer involved in a particular case has to cover the costs of the case regardless of the result. It aims for win-win solutions and low costs for all parties involved.
    •  
      Finland
      • Healthy Financial Sector is a Finnish project to find practical measures for the changes that need to be made in financial companies. It is a project to improve profitability, competitiveness and wellbeing in the Finnish insurance sector. More information available here.
    •  
      France
      • In France the water damage commitment, which was signed in 2014, aimed to overcome a "collateral" effect of a previous agreement governing the procedures between insurers regarding water damage. It represents a commitment to not use the criterion of the occurrence of water damage with third party responsible to terminate or not to renew a household multi-risk insurance contract (applicable since March 2015).
      • In France a cooling-off period and termination rules were introduced in case of duplicate protection (in line with the recent legislation on consumer rights). Its application was facilitated by insurers providing their policyholders a right of withdrawal without any justification of the existence of a prior guarantee for insurance for "nomades". The commitment was adopted by the FFSA in 2014 and will be applicable upon GEMA endorsement.
      • In France the AERAS (S'Assurer et Emprunter avec un Risque Aggravé de Santé) Convention facilitates access to insurance and borrowing money from a bank while having heavy health problems and, in spite of theirs health problems (including cancer’s patient’s right to be forgotten). More information accessible here.
      • An insurance compliance pack cooperation agreement was agreed between the Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (CNIL) and the insurance actors to establish legal tools and simplified procedures, and good practices specially adapted to the concerned professional sector (fact sheets), anti-fraud measures, best practices, better commercial and marketing management and data collection. This package was presented officially on 12 November 2014 and is made of two simplified rules and three single authorisations. It aims at giving to the insurance sector a set of rules in the framework of the French data protection act. The single authorisation related to fight against fraud came into force in July 2014. Consequently, the process of those data is standardised due to its submission to a single regulation tool and respects both the data protection rules and consumers’ fundamental rights recognised at national and European level.
    •  
      Germany
      • In 2014 the German insurance industry established an initiative to further train its intermediaries (Weiterbildungsinitiative "gut beraten").
      • The decision-making authority of the insurance ombudsman is a benchmark solution for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in Germany, sparing customers lengthy and expensive court proceedings.
      • The GDV has developed standard policy conditions on a voluntary basis. The association worked together with expert linguists in order to make general terms and conditions of insurance products easier to understand.
      • A code of conduct for insurance distribution has been established by the German insurance industry, defining standards for the provision of good advice. Approximately 90 percent of the German insurance companies are participating in the codex. They agreed to have their compliance certified by an independent third party and work together with intermediaries who improve their skills on a regular basis and document such constant further training.
      • A reduction-in-yield (RIY) indicator was introduced with the German life insurance reform act of 2014. All life insurance policies must contain key indicators regarding the impact of all costs. In fact, this indicator was already recommended by the GDV on a non-binding basis for all life insurance products ever since 2011. More information available here.
      • The insurance industry has worked together with data protection authorities to develop rules of conduct to specify and supplement the Federal Data Protection Act. The voluntary self-commitment of the insurance industry to uphold data protection received the quality seal of the data protection authorities. 
    •  
      Hungary
      • The Hungarian association founded the "Consumer Friendly Insurer" Award, which is given to the most consumer friendly company every year by an independent committee. The first "Consumer Friendly Insurer of the Year" title was awarded in 2011.
      • The Hungarian association also has a code of ethics and competition, which has to be accepted by every single member company. It has several references to consumer protection, including the ethical activity of intermediaries. The code of ethics and competition of MABISZ was adopted in 1994 and amended in 1996.
    •  
      Italy
      • The forum ANIA - Consumatori is a non-profit foundation set up by ANIA with the aim of facilitating and enhancing the dialogue between insurers and Italian consumers. Undertakings and consumer associations’ representatives are part of the forum, as along with other stakeholders not belonging to the insurance sector. It deals notably with welfare issues, education and training and insurance market issues.
      •  In Italy the ANIA Foundation for Road Safety was established in March 2004 with the aim of developing solutions that would reduce the number of road traffic victims across Europe by 40% by 2010. For example, the foundation created a project called "novice drivers" allowing new drivers to use an online driving simulator to learn about the dangers of the road, and to participate to safe drive courses for free.
      • The "psychological support for the families of victims of the road" project by the ANIA Foundation for Road Safety, which was launched in 2014 in Italy, acknowledges the psychological consequences often associated with physical injuries from of a road accident. Therefore, to improve the inclusion of road accident victims, it provides support to help alleviate the problems experienced following road accidents.
      • In Italy if the benefit of a pension product is not paid, in the case of a collective fund, the amount is transferred to the pension fund after a certain number of years. In the case of an individual fund it is transferred to a State fund created for the victims of financial breakdowns.
    •  
      Netherlands
      • In the Dutch market there are about 60 codes of conduct and governance principles (self-regulation) that recently have been audited. A good example is the code which states that non-life insurance contracts can only have a maximum contract period of one year and that after this time the contract can be cancelled by the customer every month. A recent audit pointed out that all the insurers are compliant with this code of conduct.
      • On a yearly basis Dutch insurers take part in a customer satisfaction survey and publish the results publically. This allows consumers to see which insurance company has the most satisfied customers.
      • To make the multitude of existing and new initiatives in the Dutch insurance market more transparent and more effective, these initiatives were bundled in 2008 in an umbrella program called ‘Insurers Innovate’. More information can be accessed here.
    •  
      Norway
      • In Norway, the national representative of "FIN-NET" (extrajudicial complaint network for financial services) gives the possibility for the consumer to have his/her case heard out of court free of charge. A sectoral agreement states the decisions must be headed. If the insurance company does not follow the decision, they are obligated to cover the following court expenses for the consumer.
      • Finance Norway carries out a yearly customer satisfaction survey and publishes the results.
    •  
      Sweden
      • In October 2014, Insurance Sweden issued a recommendation on remuneration regarding independent distribution of non-life insurance. This recommendation advises member companies not to enter into contracts with customers, policyholders or independent insurance distributors if the contracts involve remuneration to such insurance distributors. Companies are also advised not to be involved in billing or otherwise in the payment of such remuneration to the consumer. The recommendation is based on a "comply or explain" approach.

 

​Protecting your family

Insurance Europe has developed a short animation to explain the role of insurance in our society and the contributions it makes to the economy.

Global Money Week

Insurance Europe supports the Global Money Week. The Global Money Week aims to teach children and youth about money, saving, creating livelihoods, gaining employment and becoming an entrepreneur. Every year activities are organised to create awareness, challenge out of date financial policies and give young people the tools and inspiration they need to shape their own future.

 

 

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