The role of Public Affairs at UNIQA is to identify key societal trends, emerging policy and regulatory initiatives relevant to UNIQA. Public Affairs develops a position on these issues in close cooperation with internal and external stakeholders and interest groups, and represents it as the company’s “foreign policy” to governments, regulators, associations or the public.
With effect from January 2016, Solvency II successfully addresses the decades-long challenge of modernising insurance regulation in the European Union (EU), in terms of solvency requirements, governance, risk management and disclosure obligations.
In the context of the upcoming review of Solvency II in 2021, which will address a number of issues such as the application of counter-cyclical measures, UNIQA intends to engage constructively in the review of areas where technical improvements could be achieved in line with the objective of ensuring consumer protection and financial stability. Our “Own Risk and Solvency Assessment” (ORSA) includes sustainability risks but evaluates also opportunities connected.
Over the last 25 years, there have been industry-wide discussions on misconduct in certain jurisdictions that have led to the strengthening of consumer protection. The aim is to strengthen rules that cover the entire product life cycle to ensure that the customer always gets value for money throughout the life of a product. This includes measures to train staff, distributors, remuneration policies, but also measures on the products themselves, as the consumer-centric nature of their design needs to be demonstrated.
Data protection regulations are a key issue for insurers in particular, as the entire value chain involves the use of data, from the design and pricing of products to their distribution and claims management. Consequently, UNIQA shares its knowledge with regulators to ensure that the end result of reforms being implemented in this area (e.g. General Data Protection Regulation and other policy initiatives related to the use and processing of personal data) take into account the specificities of the insurers’ business model while meeting the objectives of data subjects.
This includes, for example, the legitimate need of insurers to assess policyholder risks and use data to detect fraud.
Climate-related developments deserve UNIQA's attention because the risks resulting from climate change have a direct impact on our activities and customers.
The insurance industry can play a key role in the transition to a sustainable economy, both by covering the indirect and direct impact of climate risks and by making sustainable investments. However, insurers cannot act in isolation from the real economy, which is why investments are urgently needed in areas such as infrastructure and energy production.
That is why UNIQA supports the efforts of the European Commission within the framework of the Sustainable Finance Action Plan and the European Green Deal to mobilise private capital for investments in a climate-neutral Europe.
The digital economy is developing rapidly around the world, bringing great opportunities but also challenges. Public authorities, together with the European Commission, have developed a digital agenda to foster growth and innovation through the implementation of a Digital Single Market strategy. New technologies offer new business opportunities for both established institutions and emerging players. In particular, the emergence of fintechs has led to a wider range of online financial services, including insurance services (InsurTech). In addition, innovations such as blockchain technology, robo-advisors, driverless cars, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the use of cloud computing are fundamentally changing the insurance business.
UNIQA is aware that digitalisation is not just a technical development, but an industrial and social revolution driven by society as a whole. This development offers enormous opportunities for the insurance industry, but also places a responsibility on national and European legislators to ensure a "level playing field" between large internet corporations and other economic players.
Memberships within our Industry
In supporting societal impact and long-term prosperity of the insurance business we engage within the following association:
- Austrian Insurance Association (VVO)
- Insurance Europe
- CRO Forum
- Pan-European Insurance Forum (PEIF)