On Monday 10 October I attended the second edition of the ANIA Insurance Summit, the annual conference organised by the Italian National Association of Insurance Companies (ANIA) to discuss the role of the insurance sector in the current socio-economic scenario.
This year’s edition took place in Rome and was titled “From Pandemic to Warflation: A Key Role for the Insurance Industry”. It covered the main challenges our economy is currently facing, such as the long-term effects of the pandemic, the tragedy of the war in Ukraine, and inflationary pressures, as well as other social emergencies such as climate change and the ageing population.
Bringing together many Italian and international authorities, academics and representatives of the insurance industry in Italy, the event outlined a scenario in which the insurance industry stands as a resilient player capable of providing protection, stimulating investment and contributing to economic recovery.
ANIA President Maria Bianca Farina opened the summit by presenting the latest report on the state of Italian Insurance, which outlined the main themes and laid the foundation for the other sessions in the agenda. The following sessions included a speech by Luigi Federico Signorini, Director General of the Bank of Italy and IVASS President; a keynote speech by Paolo Gentiloni, the Commissioner for Economy within the current European Commission; and other panels including representatives from different financial institutions and companies.
According to the report presented by Farina, the current transformations occurring in the economic, financial, and industry scenarios present a great challenge to the insurance industry, which is focused on creating long-term value for its stakeholders. Insurers will need to analyse the situation and then respond in the best way possible to the expectations of customers, savers, investors and the growth of our country as a whole.
Considering the financial and economic scenario, President Farina pointed out how much the current economic slowdowns and the rise of global inflation are weighing on insurance. For instance, in non-life lines of business, higher inflation causes the rise of claims costs, while the process of adjusting insurance rates is slower and more gradual, given the nature of the business. On the other hand, in life insurance we see a demand reduction and increasing possibilities for policyholders to find themselves in a position where they need to liquidate their investments. This has negative effects on the inflow of resources and, above all, on the management of the investment portfolio, which is also affected by heavy losses on bonds and equities.
In this context, however, the European and Italian insurance industry is still showing its ability to cope with the current complex economic and financial circumstances.
Moving on to other social issues such as energy transition, the climate crisis, and demographic problems, President Farina underlined the relevant role that institutions and governments will have to play in order to face the different emergency factors in the current economic and geopolitical environment – and shape our future.
At the same time, the insurance sector can play an important role also in this space. For instance, insurers can have the opportunity to facilitate our path ahead, supporting – both as a primary institutional investor and as a professional risk manager – businesses and families, which will have to evaluate their choices over several years or even decades amid uncertainty about the present and the future as well as the major transformations already underway.
During the event I met and exchanged views with many professionals from the main insurance companies: it was a great opportunity to discuss together the importance of the insurance industry in today’s world and how we can address the current evolving needs in a flexible, proactive and resilient way thanks to the support of innovative technologies such as the ones offered by us at RGI.