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What could sustainability mean in insurance?

What sustainability could mean in insurance was the question Swiss Re head of life and health, APAC ex China Daisy Ning posed at the 2023 Global Insurance Forum.

According to Zurich Insurance chairman Michel Liès, sustainability is the way in which “any kind of initiative with an individual, or a collective one, is not interrupted by disruptive moments”.

The insurance industry could address this from a neutral level, he believes.

“We have to survive each year paying claims that result from climate events. Whether it is a blip … trend is an important question, but not the immediate one we have to answer.

“It is also something that the industry is looking at as we are the first industry probably touched by the results of something that has resulted from not taking care of climate and sustainability,” he said.

Insurers, Mr Liès also thinks, need to keep a “balanced view between the environmental dimension of sustainability and the social environment”.

“We need to be careful about social evolution. A lot of projects in the past have been interrupted because of social disruptions. So while governance is important, the environment also needs to be balanced.

“Sometimes I get the impression that some of the tension we experience is due to the fact that we put a lot of emphasis on the environment and forget governance a bit,” he said.


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