Europe’s biggest risk association would like to see improved cooperation on the thorny issue of global insurance programmes

The head of Europe’s biggest risk management association said he wanted to see large insurers work collaboratively to resolve compliance issues around the administration of global insurance programmes.

Speaking at a press conference on the first day of the Ferma Summit in London, Peter Den Dekker, Ferma’s president and corporate insurance risk manager for Dutch multinational Stork, said it was time the insurance industry “grew up”.

“Compliance should not be an issue of competitiveness,” he said. “In my view we should all interpret insurance regulations in the same way.”

Den Dekker indicated that he would like to “sit down” with the large global insurers, with the approval of the EU’s competition commission and come up with an industry wide solution.

The problem, as he sees it, is that each global insurer treats insurance rules and regulations differently and according to their own interpretation in each of the jurisdictions where they offer services worldwide. This can lead to a great deal of confusion over what the rules are and whether they are being followed correctly.

A company, for example, could be found to be underinsured (or acting illegally) only when it comes to making a claim in a particular region, simply because the rules have not been interpreted properly.

Den Dekker would like the industry to come up with a more consistent interpretation of the various legal systems, rather than each global insurer competing for business based on its understanding of the rules. “We should all be willing to contribute to this process”.

Since taking the helm of Ferma Den Dekker has spearheaded an ambitious lobbying campaign at a European level on issues such as Solvency II and broker remuneration. The question of globally compliant insurance programmes is another major challenge facing the commercial insurance industry.