Alexander Mahnke warned of economic challenges to come at the German risk and insurance association’s virtual symposium

In his keynote speech on the eve of GVNW’s virtual symposium, the German risk and insurance association president Alexander Mahnke warned the effects of the global pandemic were far from over.

COVID-19 “continues to test health systems and has put a massive strain on the economy”, he said. Referring to the OECD’s scenarios on the impact of a second wave and uncertainty surrounding a potential vaccine, he noted that “the consequences of the pandemic for the global economy will be tough and there will be great challenges for politics, society and government”.

Will rating agency Standard & Poor’s expects insurance companies to weather the pandemic, COVID-related claims are expected to be in the range of €50 billion to €80 billion globally. Future premiums are likely to decline as policyholders feel the effects of the economic slump, observed Mahnke.

He voiced his disappointment that some insurers were not acting in the interests of their customers when it came to COVID-related claims, which was resulting in the first legal disputes. He appealed to insurers to find solutions and compromises to avoid “loss of reputation for industrial and commercial insurance in Germany”.

“GVNW is of the opinion that the organisation of a private-sector state structure for protection against future pandemic risks should be discussed, such as those that exist for terror risk in the form of Extremus AG.”

He said he remains “cautiously optimistic” that a pandemic risk solution would be found through cooperation between the federal government and private insurance industry.