FRENCH FEDERATION OF INSURANCE COMPANIES

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1 2011 THE YEAR IN REVIEW FRENCH FEDERATION OF INSURANCE COMPANIES

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3 FRENCH FEDERATION OF INSURANCE COMPANIES THE YEAR IN REVIEW

4 FREE HAND IN 2011, FFSA DECIDED TO GIVE JULIEN MAGRE A FREE HAND. HIS PHOTOGRAPHIC WORK REFLECTS THE FEDERATION S VALUES. BY LOOKING CLOSELY AT THE FAMILY, HE DEVELOPS MORE GLOBAL IDEAS ABOUT AFFILIATION AND TRANSMISSION, A SUBJECT THAT IS AT THE HEART OF THE CONCERNS OF THE FRENCH AND OF FFSA. JULIEN MAGRE SEEN BY LÉA BISMUTH JULIEN MAGRE WAS BORN IN RIGHT FROM HIS EARLY DAYS AS A STUDENT AT THE SCHOOL OF DECORATIVE ARTS IN PARIS, HE BEGAN PHOTOGRAPHING A YOUNG WOMAN WHO WOULD BECOME THE MOTHER OF HIS CHILDREN AND THE MAIN FIGURE IN A STORY THAT BECAME A BOOK IN 2010 CAROLINE, HISTOIRE NUMÉRO DEUX PUBLISHED BY FILIGRANES. SPEAKING OF THIS VENTURE UNDERWAY NOW FOR FIFTEEN YEARS, THE PHOTOGRAPHER DESCRIBES HIMSELF AS A SPECTATOR OF [HIS] OWN INTIMACY : CHOOSING THE RIGHT DISTANCE FROM HIS SUBJECT, NEITHER TOO FAR, NOR TOO NEAR, HE DESCRIBES HIS DAY-TO-DAY LIFE AND, IN SO DOING, TURNS IT INTO POETRY. 2

5 PROFILE FRENCH INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE KEY PLAYERS IN THE FRENCH ECONOMY. FFSA AND ITS 240 MEMBERS MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO PROVIDE SOLUTIONS THAT MEET THE NEEDS OF FRENCH PEOPLE AND REFLECT CHANGES IN SOCIETY BILLION PAID OUT TO POLICYHOLDERS 190 BILLION IN DIRECT REVENUES 1,702.3 BILLION IN ASSETS MANAGED BY INSURANCE COMPANIES CONTENTS P. 04 EDITORIAL BY BERNARD SPITZ P. 08 LIFE INSURANCE, SOURCE OF CONFIDENCE AND A PILLAR OF THE ECONOMY P. 16 INSURANCE AT THE HEART OF FRENCH EVERY-DAY LIFE P. 34 MAKING OUR VOICE HEARD IN THE PUBLIC DEBATE P. 44 A SOCIALLY INNOVATIVE SECTOR P. 50 INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES P. 59 INSURANCE IN 2011, FACTS AND FIGURES 3

6 EDITORIAL EDITORIAL BY BERNARD SPITZ, FFSA CHAIRMAN NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE CRITICAL CHOICES. STARTING WITH THE CHOICE OF LONG-TERM SAVINGS. 80 BILLION AMOUNT PAID OUT BY INSURANCE COMPANIES TO COVER SOCIAL RISKS 4

7 THE YEAR IN REVIEW 2011 The economic crisis, now in its fifth year, continues to take new forms. In 2011, it caught up with the European states, whose budget deficits prompted deep worries amongst markets, savers and all economic players. French insurers held firm. Their results in 2011 were healthy. Investment in life insurance grew by 17 billion. Revenues in property and liability insurance increased by 4%. Although solvency and profits were inevitably affected, financial results were far from disappointing. The economic model of insurance, which has demonstrated its robustness in the past, proved its strength again. This enabled insurance to play its full role as the mainstay of the French economy. By the end of the year, investment by insurance companies had risen to 1,702 billion. The primary beneficiaries of this investment were businesses, which at the end of 2011 accounted for 56% of insurance investment. Of this, 953 billion went into the productive economy, SMEs in particular, where investment by insurance companies rose despite the crisis, with 3 billion of new finance. Insurers also continue to carry France s public debt. At the end of 2011, state guaranteed bonds accounted for 31% of their investment. Once again in 2011, as for many years, they were the main domestic holders of French public debt. THE STRENGTH OF FRENCH INSURANCE Greater support for businesses, continued investment in sovereign bonds, good performance across the market, the continued strength of French insurance in 2011 is good news for the country, for industry, for SMEs and for French households. Moreover, in 2011, insurance companies paid out 160 billion in benefits, half of it to cover social risks. As in 2009, they contributed to offsetting the impact of the crisis and helping households prepare for the future. They fully played their complementary role alongside public insurance in pensions, protection and long-term care planning. Their involvement in the wider national debate on long-term care is proof of their commitment to be more heavily involved in this role and to provide good quality, long-term care insurance, based on a balanced public-private partnership. The inclement economic and financial conditions in the second half of 2011 therefore had no adverse impact on the two 5

8 EDITORIAL essential functions of insurance: to provide protection and fund the economy. There is every reason to welcome this, since the French economy needs a strong insurance industry. Indeed, longterm savings and investment are our most powerful weapons in our fight to hoist ourselves out of the crisis, in today s unprecedented economic difficulties. THE DEBT REDUCTION CYCLE A new cycle began in 2011: the cycle of debt reduction. All economic agencies are involved, including states. Under the alert eye of the markets, this new cycle demands an iron discipline. Two goals must simultaneously be met: growth and budget reform. This equation can be solved, provided that long-term savings and investment policies are pursued, the only way insurance companies can work sustainably alongside businesses and government. In 2011, long-term savings played their part, because the French insurance industry remained strong, particularly in life insurance, trusted by a large majority of French households. While slightly down from the previous year, life cover revenues were high in 2011 ( 124 billion), and net inflows for the year remained positive. Despite a difficult environment, life insurance remained France s preferred investment. Apart from attractive returns (3% on average) in a volatile environment, the capital guarantee of euro policies greatly limited the impact of the crisis on life insurance, by contrast with many other products. Nonetheless, long-term savings in France were weakened by doubly adverse conditions. Firstly, savers changed their behaviour in the second half of the year in response to the crisis and an uncertain climate. They looked for liquidity or nonfinancial investment. The impact on life insurance was limited, although the drop in inflows in the second half of the year lasted longer than ever before. Secondly, at the beginning of the year, the debate on the reform in the tax on assets prompted a wait and see attitude, with savers reacting sharply to any sign of changes in the tax treatment of life insurance. Wisdom finally prevailed, but the announcement effect on savers was felt. 6

9 THE YEAR IN REVIEW 2011 MAKING A NATIONAL CHOICE TOWARDS THE LONG-TERM French insurers are determined to maintain and strengthen their role in financing the economy, as they did in They, however, look to government encouragement. Making a national choice for the long-term means, for example, rejecting certain short-term policies that were still in place in One notable example is the Solvency II European regulatory process, which has just entered its final phase. Despite advances made at European level, driven by FFSA, this structural reform still poses a major threat to growth in France and Europe. A badly designed reform could undermine long-term savings and investment, and constitute a real risk for France and the Eurozone. Solvency II is a political issue, and should be handled as such. Seven European insurance federations gave this message to Commissioner Michel Barnier last November at FFSA s annual Solvency II conference. Now is the time to make critical choices: the most important is to choose long-term savings, the only way forward for the French and European economies; for growth, employment and competitiveness. 5 FFSA S MISSION IN 5 POINTS PROMOTING THE INTERESTS OF THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY BEING AN INSTRUMENT OF CONSULTATION SHARING INFORMATION AND STATISTICAL DATA EDUCATING THE PUBLIC DEVELOPING RISK PREVENTION MEASURES 7

10 INSURANCE AND THE ECONOMY 01 CHAPTER LIFE INSURANCE, A SOURCE OF CONFIDENCE AND A PILLAR OF THE ECONOMY IN 2011, IN ADVERSE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS, LIFE INSURANCE MANAGED TO RETAIN ITS STATUS AS FRANCE S FAVOURITE INVESTMENT, BECAUSE OF ITS FLEXIBILITY, RELIABILITY AND ATTRACTIVENESS. 30 MILLION THE NUMBER OF FRENCH PEOPLE CONCERNED BY LIFE INSURANCE, WHETHER AS POLICY HOLDERS OR BENEFICIARIES 8

11 THE YEAR IN REVIEW 2011 THERE WILL BE NO LONG-TERM INVESTMENT IN FRANCE WITHOUT A STRONG LIFE INSURANCE INDUSTRY, THE MAINSTAY OF THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM. 1,357 BILLION THE AMOUNT INVESTED IN INSURANCE POLICIES AT THE END OF DECEMBER BILLION THE AMOUNT INVESTED IN BUSINESSES BY INSURANCE COMPANIES IN

12 INSURANCE AND THE ECONOMY LIFE INSURANCE, FRANCE S FAVOURITE INVESTMENT VEHICLE DESPITE THE CRISIS, THE FRENCH MAINTAINED THEIR TRUST IN LIFE INSURANCE. 116 BILLION SUMS PAID OUT IN LIFE INSURANCE AND CAPITALISATION 10

13 THE YEAR IN REVIEW 2011 Between the high tensions in the Eurozone, the downgrading of several countries by the rating agencies and the economic uncertainties, 2011 was marked by the economics of debt reduction. This unprecedented cycle is causing transference and behaviour changes that have consequences for the French insurance industry and for its millions of policyholders and savers. Although turnover in life insurance fell by 14%, as a result, it remained robust and strong. In today s savings landscape, it undoubtedly remains a safe investment, as insurance companies continue to show the reliability and viability of their model in the current crisis. CONFIDENCE INTACT The generally subdued economic environment and the numerous wealth tax reforms initiated in 2011, combined with the ageing of the population, resulted in structurally high takeover processes, which largely explain the net fall in revenues in Nevertheless, French confidence in life insurance remains intact. It is a popular savings vehicle chosen by 30 million people (beneficiaries and policyholders), from all age and socio-professional categories. Three quarters of policyholders are unskilled workers, shop workers, farmers, middle managers or pensioners. Life insurance is a flexible and reliable product that meets many kinds of needs: rainy day savings, health protection, extra income in retirement Combining good returns, tax advantages, liquidity and inheritability, life insurance remains the French s favourite investment vehicle throughout their life. LIFE INSURANCE REMAINED ROBUST AND STRONG IN

14 INSURANCE AND THE ECONOMY RELIABLE GUARANTEES, EVEN IN A TIME OF CRISIS The insurance business is subject to very strict prudential regulation, designed to protect savers. In particular, it places solvency requirements on insurance companies. Protected by this permanent regulation, policyholders can take full advantage of free competition to find a policy that meets their needs. Life insurance is a flexible investment, where returns and risks can be managed over time to suit each investor s needs and expectations. GOOD LEVELS OF RETURN One of the particular attractions of life insurance is that returns have remained relatively high, despite the crisis. Average returns on euro policies stood at 3% in 2011, the highest level across the range of standard savings vehicles. Unit-linked policies reflected market movements, falling by 7%, but nevertheless outperformed the CAC 40 index (down 17%). By employing a diverse investment strategy, insurance companies are able to maintain the security of investments and, where necessary, offset losses in certain assets. Diversification is unquestionably an advantage in maintaining returns on policies in a period of crisis, reflecting the industry s effective management performance. Finally, it should be remembered that the capital is guaranteed on sums invested in euros, whatever happens in the financial markets. This guarantee covers not only the capital but also all the interest accrued from the start of the policy. INVESTMENT DIVERSITY IS A SOURCE OF SECURITY FOR POLICYHOLDERS. 12

15 THE YEAR IN REVIEW 2011 THE FOUNDATION OF LONG-TERM SAVINGS TODAY, LIFE INSURANCE IS THE FOUNDATION OF LONG-TERM SAVINGS IN FRANCE. IT ACCOUNTS FOR 55% OF THE 2,500 BILLION INVESTED IN MEDIUM AND LONG-TERM FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS. 55% THE ROLE OF INSURANCE IN LONG-TERM SAVINGS 13

16 INSURANCE AND THE ECONOMY To maintain long-term investment and encourage long-term savings, savers need to be given clear signals in favour of life insurance. This is the conviction that drives FFSA in all its dealings with its different stakeholders. The profound belief that long-term savings are fundamental to the exit from the crisis was expressed in April 2012, with the signature of the Manifesto for a long-term savings policy by FFSA and ANIA (Italian Association of Insurance Companies). The profession as a whole is calling for the long-term to be seen as an economic priority, emphasising the need to support the development of long-term savings in European economies to protect households against the risks associated in particular with ageing [ ] and to make the investments our economies need to underpin economic growth. CREATING THE CONDITIONS FOR CONFIDENCE Any successful economic policy today needs to reconcile debt reduction and growth. However, the pathway to these two goals is narrow, hence the need to rely on long-term investment, an essential requirement in promoting competitiveness, stimulating employment and creating the conditions for a lasting economic recovery. This effort in favour of the long-term demands confidence from savers, from investors, from all the economic players. The watchword is stability, not to be confused with simply maintaining the status quo. The insurance industry is aware of the need to innovate and progress. Indeed, competition in the sector is lively. However, it can only play its role effectively if the economic and tax rules are not constantly changing. THE MAINSTAY OF THE FRENCH ECONOMY Long-term savings are essential in financing companies and the public debt, with the sums it represents being invested in shares or in government and company bonds. In France, insurance companies investments amounted to more than 1,700 billion at the end of 2011, 953 billion invested in companies and 528 billion going to finance sovereign debt. Domestic insurance companies portfolios held almost 20% of the government s noncurrent negotiable debt. This support is now fundamental. Insurance, the mainstay of our economy, is undoubtedly the foundation of any policy for growth. 14

17 THE YEAR IN REVIEW 2011 A MAJOR ROLE WITH SMEs Insurers also play a major role with SMEs. They have maintained their commitment to such companies for many years, through direct investment or via mid-cap or private equity funds. At the end of 2011, insurance companies had 24.5 billion invested in the capital of unlisted SMEs. Compared with 2010, there were 3 billion in new investment, despite the crisis. In addition, FFSA continues its efforts to promote marketplace initiatives designed to reconcile the management goals of insurance companies and the funding needs of SMEs: launch of the Nova 1 and 2 funds in partnership with Caisse des Dépôts in February 2012 ( million financed by insurance companies out of a total million, to support the small business market); participation in the renewal of the FSI France Investissement programme; massive take-up of the Oséo issues ( 700 million). KEEPING CONSUMERS INFORMED French confidence in life insurance is also explained by the efforts made by our profession to inform and advise. Indeed, customer relations are at the heart of government considerations at national and community level for the financial sector as a whole. In its discussions with the different authorities, FFSA is always calling for information that is useful to customers and for that information to be legally binding. It also works for the right balance to be maintained between customer protection and market competitiveness, to ensure that both policyholders and insurers operate within a balanced and efficient framework. Keen to avoid any further regulatory inflation in an already highly regulated sector, FFSA prefers a system of voluntary ethical commitments, consultation with consumers within the context of the CCSF (Financial Sector Consultative Committee) and regular discussions with the oversight authority (ACP). To maintain its image, our profession is committed to a process of explanation and transparency in its relations with policyholders and beneficiaries. The efforts made by insurance companies on so-called unclaimed policies are proof of our commitment. 15

18 INSURANCE AND SOCIETY 02 CHAPTER INSURANCE AT THE HEART OF FRENCH EVERY-DAY LIFE INSURANCE PROFESSIONALS WORK HARD TO KEEP IN TUNE WITH THE CONCERNS OF THE FRENCH AND TO PROVIDE INSURANCE SOLUTIONS FOR THEIR DIFFERENT LIFE SITUATIONS. 88 NUMBER OF INSURANCE COMPANIES OPERATING IN THE HEALTH SECTOR 16

19 THE YEAR IN REVIEW 2011 OUR NATION S CLOSE BOND WITH INSURANCE IS STRENGTHENED BY THE PRESENCE OF 43,700 INSURANCE BROKERS: GENERAL INSURANCE BROKERS, AGENTS, REPRESENTATIVES, INTERMEDIARIES. ALL OF THEM CONTRIBUTE TO THE DYNAMISM OF THE MARKET. 110 BILLION THE RECORD LEVEL OF NATURAL DISASTERS AROUND THE WORLD IN % THE INCREASE IN DIRECT REVENUES IN PROPERTY AND LIABILITY INSURANCE BETWEEN 2010 AND

20 INSURANCE AND SOCIETY MORE INITIATIVES IN FAVOUR OF POLICYHOLDERS IN 2011, BOTH IN LIABILITY AND IN PERSONAL INSURANCE, INSURANCE COMPANIES WORKED IN CONSULTATION WITH GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES ON NUMEROUS ISSUES, TO CONTINUE IMPROVING THEIR SERVICES. 900,000 THE NUMBER OF LEGAL PROTECTION LEAFLETS DISTRIBUTED 18

21 THE YEAR IN REVIEW 2011 In 2011, insurance companies supported their customers in most day-to-day activities, seeking to offer products and guarantees reflecting changes in society. LEGAL PROTECTION On legal protection, the government sought to tackle the problem of the funding of legal aid by approaching the insurance industry. The ensuing discussions prompted the profession to submit three proposals to the Ministry of Justice: to improve the enforcement of the principle whereby legal aid is subsidiary to legal insurance (i.e. a citizen can only receive legal aid if he or she is not already covered by legal insurance), to adopt a joint FFSA- GEMA recommendation intended to broaden the areas covered by legal insurance and to launch a communication campaign on legal insurance in partnership with FFSA, GEMA and the Ministry of Justice. To publicize the service, this campaign was launched on 5 April More than 900,000 leaflets displaying FFSA, GEMA and Ministry of Justice logos, were distributed by all the partners. COMMITMENT TO CLEAR INFORMATION ON POLICY CANCELLATION PROCEDURES With regard to automatic policy renewal, governed by the Chatel Act of 28 January 2005, the industry undertook to improve the information given to customers on the procedures for cancelling their policies. For example, payment notices will include a warning note drawn up in consultation with consumer associations within the CCSF (Financial Sector Consultative Committee). In addition, insurers will take measures to ensure that policyholders receive their payment notices at least 20 days before the due date, as requested by consumers. EVERYTHING POSSIBLE IS BEING DONE TO MAKE INSURANCE EASIER TO UNDERSTAND. 19

22 INSURANCE AND SOCIETY MEDICAL LIABILITY On the issue of medical liability: following constructive discussions with insurance companies and health professionals, the government introduced a new law (No ) providing for the establishment of a guarantee fund to cover damages following acts of prevention, diagnosis or treatment carried out by self-employed health professionals. The guarantee fund concerns all medical and paramedical professionals working in a self-employed capacity and requiring professional liability insurance. The guarantee fund comes into play in the following two cases: if the guaranteed amount is exceeded: above the guarantee ceilings in the professional liability insurance policy of 8 million per claim and 15 million per insurance year, for the proportion of compensation above these minimum guarantees or above those of the policy, if these are greater; in the event that the guarantee has elapsed, beyond the 10 years as legally laid down in Clause L of the Insurance Code. Decree No of 29 December 2011 increases the guarantee caps on professional liability insurance policies for selfemployed health sector professionals from 3 million to 8 million per claim and from 10 million to 15 million per insurance year. This means that all policies signed, renewed or amended from 1 January 2012 must offer these new minimum guarantees. The guarantee fund is financed by a lump sum annual contribution paid by self-employed health professionals and collected by the insurance companies under the same rules, and with the same guarantees and penalties as the tax on insurance contracts. The amount of this contribution is 15, 20 or 25 per policy and per year, depending on the policy holder s profession. This system settles at last the issues of guarantee gaps which many professionals criticized. 94% THE PERCENTAGE OF LOAN INSURANCE APPLICATIONS ENTAILING AGGRAVATED HEALTH RISK ON WHICH AN INSURANCE PROPOSAL WAS OFFERED 20

23 THE YEAR IN REVIEW 2011 THE AERAS AGREEMENT: FURTHER PROGRESS IN FACILITATING ACCESS TO LOANS For a number of years, Government, professional banking and insurance organisations and patient and consumer associations have been working together on procedures to make it easier for people with an aggravated health risk to access insurance and loans. The AERAS agreement is the most recent advance in this sphere. On 1 March 2011, the 2006 AERAS convention was renewed in order to widen access to insurance for people with an aggravated health risk. It contains numerous improvements: a new specific invalidity guarantee which must be considered whenever the borrower demands this cover; a widening of the premium capping mechanism, introduced on the initiative of insurance companies and lending institutions, under which the cost of the additional premium may be covered for low income borrowers; a strengthening of the monitoring committee and the establishment of new scientific groups to assess health conditions and their development. PROMOTING ACCESS TO INSURANCE FOR ALL 21

24 INSURANCE AND SOCIETY DEVELOPING AND STRENGTHENING DAMAGE INSURANCE AFTER YEARS OF RISING CLAIMS, DAMAGE INSURERS ARE CONSTANTLY DEVELOPING NEW IDEAS AND SOLUTIONS. 37% THE PERCENTAGE CONTRIBUTION OF CAR INSURANCE TO PROPERTY AND LIABILITY INSURANCE REVENUES 22

25 THE YEAR IN REVIEW 2011 GROWTH IN DAMAGE INSURANCE Claims fell in 2011 compared with the two previous years, but remained well above 2007 and 2008 levels, in particular as a result of a resurgence in home burglaries and a number of climatic events. The total amount paid out to policyholders reached 33.2 billion (down by 2.8%). Damage insurance subscriptions rose from 46 billion to 47.9 billion in one year. With a rise of 4.5%, the domestic insurance market grew more than the business market, though the latter also recorded growth of 3.5%. This rise is explained by a combination of several factors: firstly, the increase in the total volume and value of assets insured; secondly the change in the insurance offering, with a wider range of products and guarantees; and, finally, the rise in rates following the higher levels of claims in previous years. The authorities moreover confirmed that these rate increases were a true reflection of the real increase in claims. ADAPTING CAR INSURANCE TO A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT The figures for road traffic accidents showed contrasting trends. While there has been a clear fall in the number of deaths and injuries, the average costs per claim continued to rise faster than inflation. Insurers continue to work to ensure that all the players use common tools for assessing physical damage (terminology of injuries, medical scale, standardised compensation criteria ). In addition, insurers are preparing to apply in France the decision of the European Court of Justice prohibiting the use of gender (male-female) in setting car insurance rates. Finally, work has begun in the industry on adapting insurance to the new types of vehicles (electric, hybrid) and to the new forms of mobility (car pooling, short-term hire, car sharing ). REFORMING THE SYSTEM FOR NATURAL DISASTERS Although France experienced fewer natural disasters in 2011 than in the previous years, the floods in the south-east and Storm Joachim nevertheless affected 100,000 people and resulted in 23

26 INSURANCE AND SOCIETY 500 million of compensation payouts by insurers. According to a 2008 study, the estimated cost of natural disasters in France over the next 20 years could reach 60 billion. Given this possibility, and aiming to promote the risk management skills of insurance companies, FFSA worked in close consultation with the authorities to achieve significant improvements in the natural disaster system, in order to spread responsibility and make it more economically sustainable. The draft reform to this system presented by the Government is largely based on insurance industry recommendations: in particular, specific procedures for drought risk, variable pricing for major risks and listing of threats covered. However, FFSA stresses that the balance of this system depends primarily on an intensification of prevention policies, and therefore welcomes the emergence of the National Observatory of Natural Risks with the Government, the Central Reinsurance Fund, the Natural Risks Task Force and insurers. The idea of creating this observatory was proposed by Bernard Spitz in his sessions before the parliamentary committees following Xynthia. FFSA will also seek to highlight the benefits of the French system at European level. In addition, FFSA places great emphasis on educating companies about natural risks, for example, organising a round table on this topic at the Insurance Days event in Toulouse. 60 BILLION THE ESTIMATED COST OF NATURAL DISASTERS IN FRANCE OVER THE NEXT 20 YEARS 24

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28 INSURANCE AND SOCIETY UNDERSTANDING CHANGES IN TRANSPORT INSURANCE When it comes to transport insurance, the French market stands high in the international rankings and remains well-placed despite the arrival of China. However, beyond questions of ranking, one important factor needs to be recognised: unlike some leading markets which essentially underwrite risks in their own countries, French insurers have developed their underwriting activities abroad. A sign of this dynamism was Paris s hosting in 2011 of the 67th conference of the IUMI (International Union of Maritime Insurance), which brought together 700 professionals from all around the world to discuss the topic of risk trends, safety and security seen through the prism of transport insurance. Maritime piracy, the rise of the Asian markets, container overloading All technical or economic themes which reflect the day-to-day reality of a fast changing business. SUPPORTING CONSTRUCTION FIRMS IN REDUCING ENERGY CONSUMPTION France s so-called Grenelle de l Environnement environmental government Bill provides for the large-scale introduction of a programme to cut energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the construction sector. This ambitious plan incorporates new legal and technical requirements on builders, and raises the question of the scope of compulsory buildings insurance in the event that a structure should fail to meet the user s energy performance requirements. FFSA s work in 2011 led the industry to the conclusion that the failure to meet energy performance standards could not be 2.4 BILLION TURNOVER IN CONSTRUCTION INSURANCE 26

29 THE YEAR IN REVIEW 2011 covered by the compulsory ten-year building insurance scheme. One of the main reasons why the current system is inappropriate to the issue of energy performance is that energy efficiency is linked with a variable that cannot be predicted: the way the building is used by its occupants. Sensitive to the importance of supporting construction firms in this process, at the end of the year insurers decided to work on drawing up alternative solutions for energy performance insurance. Work will be done in 2012 to establish a common position for the industry on this issue. TACKLING THE CHALLENGES OF THE FARMING SECTOR The episodes of severe drought experienced in 2011 saw insurers working closely to help French farmers. On the initiative of FFSA, therefore, the insurance companies intensified their discussions and consultation with the stakeholders concerned to find mutually satisfactory solutions. Multi-risk climatic crop insurance, created in 2005, transfers risk assessment, damage evaluation and compensation payment previously managed under the national agricultural disaster guarantee scheme to the private insurance sector. This shift requires a different approach from farmers, who are required to take out an insurance policy before the weatherrelated events covered take place. In consequence, 70,000 farmers, accounting for almost 30% of agricultural land, are covered by these large producer policies (cereals, beets ), along with 100,000 winegrowers. INSURERS ARE COMMITTED TO DEVELOPING ALTERNATIVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY INSURANCE SOLUTIONS. 27

30 INSURANCE AND SOCIETY HEALTH AND PENSION SAVINGS: A MAJOR PLAYER INSURERS ARE COMMITTED TO THE HEALTH SECTOR. THEY ALSO OFFER PENSION PRODUCTS THAT MATCH THE NEEDS OF POLICYHOLDERS. 14% OF MEDICAL TREATMENTS AND PRODUCTS ARE FINANCED BY INSURANCE COMPANIES 28

31 THE YEAR IN REVIEW 2011 MAKING HEALTH INSURANCE POLICIES CLEARER Positive and encouraging were the terms used by UNOCAM (National Union of Additional Health Insurance Providers) on the joint undertaking by its member federations to clarify the guarantees laid down in private health insurance policies. Insurance companies have widely distributed the glossary and Q&A document produced to help policyholders in choosing the right health insurance scheme. They have also developed numerous initiatives to help customers understand the health insurance guarantees, implementing the good practices that they committed to in 2010 in the charter signed by all health insurance providers. This document, which sets out the undertakings on the presentation and description of guarantees, access to information, clarification and simplification of essential data, will be regularly revised and an annual report will be produced to assess its real scope and plan changes. REPOSITIONING HEALTH INFORMATICS In new health IT, the CNAMTS (health insurance fund for salaried workers) unilaterally decided to pull out of the inter-partner process that had been developed through the Economic Interest Group founded by the compulsory and additional health insurance bodies, which was responsible for managing the SESAM- Vitale (GIE SESAM-Vitale) system. This policy change is evidenced in particular by its new IT master plan and its decision to stop the development of the Duo health insurance rights card, which is part of the SESAM-Vitale system. This prompted the insurance industry to consider a strategic repositioning in the sphere of health informatics. RESPONDING TO HIGHER TAXES ON HEALTH POLICIES The amended finance law for 2011 raised the special rate of tax on insurance agreements (TSCA) from 3.5% to 7% for solidarity-based and responsible health insurance policies and from 7% to 9% for non-solidarity-based or non-responsible health insurance policies. 29

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