Insurance from natural events

Alberto Battaglia
Read Time: 3'
Among the ideas discussed at the Ania Insurance Summit is the importance of diversifying climate risks by introducing an obligation similar to that of motor liability

Against the risks of natural events, insuring today is, on average, "expensive," but if a small business does not do so, it risks never reopening if it has major consequences due to an extreme weather event. "There is an awareness that compulsory insurance is necessary to cover risks arising from natural events," such as that of Rc auto, "otherwise you can't reach a sufficient critical mass to cover the most important risks for the population; if there are few insured, the costs remain high and the risks large for businesses, it is an inefficient market." Thus Allianz Italia CEO Giacomo Campora, speaking at the Ania Insurance Summit on Oct. 10.

"Managing uncertainty is the goal of insurance companies," and successive crises are "a burden on businesses," said Alessandro Scarfò, deputy general manager of Intesa Sanpaolo Vita, "but hardly this request for help, from businesses comes in the form of insurance coverage." "In Italy, 20 percent of families insure the home they own, but only in 3 percent of cases do they insure it against catastrophic phenomena," Scarfò said, "we have seen, however, that if an advisor creates awareness about this danger and the possibility of protecting oneself, the penetration rate of this type of policy is 40-50 percent."

"Mandatory would be the best solution because it would significantly bring down prices, but also because it would no longer sell" as is the case today, "the policy only where the perception of risk is highest," added Scarfò, according to whom "the state should take on the risk in the last resort that would allow this universal coverage to be offered with a correct capital requirement."

Digitize to have more contact with policyholders

The historical under-insurance of Italians can be explained partly because "some of the available solutions are not known" and partly because the conditions are not created for communication between insurance and business or family. For this reason, Scarfò recalled, companies have invested heavily in their networks, whose goal is often "to help customers understand their own needs," some of which are covered by insurable risks. Another way to succeed in this process will be a more significant investment in digitization, which allows insurance companies to increase the "frequency of contact with the customer" and better understand their work's value.

In this respect, compared with banks and financial institutions, Scarfò recalled, insurance companies start at a disadvantage because there are much more frequent opportunities to take stock of, for example, the fate of an investment. For the policy, on the other hand, events thin out at the premium payment and, when the risk materializes, at the claims. "There is a need," Scarfò said, "for increased proximity to customers and the knowledge that people have of the solutions the industry offers to be at their side in solving problems, helping them in their time of need in a timely and competent manner."

Responsible for the macroeconomics and insurance area. A professional journalist, he holds a degree in Media Languages and a diploma in Journalism from Catholic University.


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