ZURICH, Nov. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Amid growing stakeholder expectations for companies to have greater social impact, a new Geneva Association report, The Role of Insurance in Promoting Social Sustainability of insurance in promoting social sustainability), highlights the abundant and inherent social benefit of insurance in providing financial stability and peace of mind to individuals and businesses. The Geneva Association estimates that insurers contribute $5-5.5 trillion a year to global financial resilience through insurance claims and benefit payments.
To further advance social sustainability, the report advises insurers to enhance their underwriting and impact investing activities, as well as due diligence on risks linked to their clients, investees and operations, from human rights violations to algorithmic bias.
The Geneva Association report proposes an innovative framework for insurers to assess their "social footprint", inspired by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol's approach to carbon emissions disclosure:
Jad Ariss, CEO of the Geneva Association, said: "It is clear that companies need to do more to promote social sustainability, especially in light of the fallout from the pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine. Insurers have always been - and will continue to be - at the forefront of this agenda, the very essence of the insurance business is to protect society, provide financial security and peace of mind, and support recovery from crises.That said, insurers can increase their impact on this space and need to address the lack of proper metrics. We hope our report will serve as a guide."
Report author Kai-Uwe Schanz, Deputy CEO and Director of Socio-Economic Resilience at the Geneva Association, said: "The report recommends insurers take a three-tiered approach to managing social sustainability. First, maximize intrinsically positive social impacts of insurance; second, to protect those benefits by carefully mitigating potentially negative impacts; and, third, to explore the scope of additional, commercially viable social benefits. Based on this approach, we believe that Insurers can further enhance their role in offering socially relevant products and work to close protection gaps. This is more important than ever, as the transition to a net-zero economy must be socially just and inclusive."
The Geneva Association is the world's only association of insurance companies; its members are general directors of insurance and reinsurance. Based on rigorous research conducted in collaboration with its members, academic institutions and multilateral organizations, the Geneva Association investigates the main areas of risk that may affect the insurance industry, develops recommendations and provides a platform for interested parties to debate them. In total, Geneva Association member companies are based in 26 countries around the world, manage $21 trillion in assets, employ more than 2.5 million people, and protect 2.6 billion people.
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