On October 27th, The General Council of the Colleges of Insurance Intermediaries (El Consejo General de los Colegios de Mediadores de Seguros) and CGPA Europe held an online conference to analyse both the evolution of the professional indemnity of insurance intermediaries in Europe and the situation arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as its impact for insurance intermediaries. This video-conference brought together around a hundred participants.
This videoconference was an opportunity for Spanish intermediaries to get an overview of the situation in the rest of Europe and to enable them to better understand the risks they face in carrying out their activity
Eric Evian, President and CEO of CGPA Europe, outlined the main sources of claims that insurance intermediaries are facing in Europe: “Our experience in Europe allows us to know the nature of the claims that insurance intermediaries are facing,” he explained. He reported a “sharp increase” in claims arising “from a lack of written advice from insurance intermediaries”.
He also outlined the impact of the pandemic on insurance intermediaries: “In January 2020, no company or analyst placed a pandemic in its risk barometers”. However, the Covid-19 has become the greatest risk and everything points to 2020 being the year with the highest losses for insurance. Many Insurance companies refused to cover Business Interruption claims arising from the pandemic, because their policy wordings were unclear. As a result, Insurance intermediaries are often “caught in the middle” between the insurer’s refusal to indemnify and their client, claiming for an indemnity. This conference provided an opportunity to share ideas to enable insurance intermediaries to adopt good practices in dealing with this risk, as well as indications on the right reactions to adopt in such cases.
Gonzalo Iturmendi, partner and director of G. Iturmendi y Asociados and general secretary of Agers, (Asociación Española de Gerencia de Riesgos y Seguros) , outlined the importance to identify, analyse and evaluate the risks linked to the activity of insurance intermediary: “professionals have deal with two risk control and prevention systems, compliance and quality,” he said. During his presentation, Gonzalo Iturmendi explained how to apply these tools and analysed the rules that must be complied with to avoid claims.
This video-conference was also an opportunity to highlight the importance of new technologies and innovation for insurance intermediaries: Reineiro Sarasúa, President of the General Council, pointed out that “intermediaries have to lead professional development through technological growth, the continuous training of our teams, investing in innovation and development of technology and the digitalisation of our companies”.
Before closing the event, Carlos Montesinos, Managing Director of CGPA Europe Underwriting in Spain, stressed that knowledge of the origin of claims helps to prevent situations that could lead to a claim, and that action must be taken on two fronts: “Ensuring compliance with the legal framework and having action protocols that allow intermediaries to combine respect and protection”.
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