"Coverage" - a topic gaining importance

28 November 2013 —
The recent tragedy that struck in Sardinia, when many of the islanders saw their homes destroyed by floods, raised again the issue of putting in place a national legislation for compulsory insurance for damages caused by this kind of calamity. It is not the first time when a dramatic, catastrophic event puts this problem back on the public agenda. The same happened in 2009, after the L'Aquila earthquake. And still... the law doesn't exist yet and the share of the insured claims seems to be small enough not to arouse any interest for the public debates.

In fact, Italy is not the only example. While the natural catastrophes are causing greater damage all around the world, year after year, steps towards increasing the insurance coverage of properties are not taken with conviction. In this context, both in economic and human terms, "coverage", understood as a share of insured properties in the total number, becomes a crucial issue.

Why does coverage remain low, especially in the emerging markets? The reasons are numerous, starting from the lack of knowledge about insurance or the low purchasing power of the population, passing through the scarce offer of suitable insurance products and ending to the historical habit to rely on state aid, not to mention the large category of uninsurable properties. Unfortunately, the governments are less and less able to properly indemnify families hit by calamities, leaving them to manage on their own or to wait for charity.

Are the compulsory insurance schemes the right solution? The experiences provided by currently existing systems cannot justify a firm answer, unless taking into consideration the idea that a solution, be it only partial, is better than no solution at all. Therefore the issue needs a closer consideration, at least comparable to the one given to the MTPL penetration degree.

Is "coverage" becoming the fundamental question in the CAT insurance field? For sure, if not the fundamental, it will be at least one of the most important.

See you online,

Daniela GHETU

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