a.s.r. aspires to make a positive contribution to improving the sustainability of society by continually working to create sustainable solutions. It does this with its investments, and also by developing products and services. In this way, a.s.r. intends to facilitate the transition to an inclusive, sustainable society and to minimise the negative impact of products and services.
In May 2021, the Executive Board established a Sustainable Insurance Policy that describes how a.s.r. integrates sustainability (or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)) matters into insurance processes. The policy sets frameworks for the application of sustainability criteria in underwriting and product development. See www.asrnl.com for the Sustainable Insurance Policy. The implementation of the policy was started in the second half of 2021.
a.s.r. has signed the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) in December 2021, aiming to achieve a carbon neutral insurance portfolio by 2050.
The UN-convened NZIA brings together the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers to play their part in accelerating the transition to net zero emissions economies. They are committing to individually transition their underwriting portfolios to net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, consistent with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.
As risk managers, insurers and investors, the insurance industry has a key role in supporting the transition to a net zero economy. NZIA members will individually set science-based intermediate targets every five years and independently report on their progress publicly on an annual basis. The alliance is working with the PCAF on developing a global standard for measuring and disclosing insured greenhouse gas emissions. This will result in the NZIA target-setting protocol, foreseen to be launched in 2023. The first individual intermediate targets of a.s.r. will be published within six months of the publication of the NZIA target-setting protocol.
Taking and assessing risks forms the core of the insurance business. Sustainability risks are included in the assessments that a.s.r. makes. Sustainability risks are risks for the environment, social issues and good governance, abbreviated as ESG risks.
Customers with a non-transparent organisational structure (especially if the structure has been set up to avoid / evade taxes).
Customers who have a non-transparent (shareholder) structure or customers who do not wish to disclose their ultimate beneficial owner (the UBO). The true identity of the customer (and of the ultimate beneficial owner) must be known and transparent.
Customers suspected of involvement in a criminal organisation or activities.
Customers who wish to remain anonymous or provide false identity information / identification.
Customers who refuse to provide the legally required information documents.
Customers who are on sanction lists or who have failed an EVA, IVA, FISH, SFH or other integrity test.
Customers about whom there are signals that they may be linked to money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, tax evasion, greenwashing, a criminal organisation or criminal activities or other conduct and aspects that could jeopardise the integrity and good reputation of a.s.r.
(financing of) terrorism
the sex industry, including prostitution
the drug industry, including the production and sale of drugs and soft drugs (including coffee shops, grow shops, shisha lounges and shops)
unregulated games of chance / gambling industry
trade in ivory or exotic animals and fur farms
fossil or nuclear energy industry
animal intensive or animal testing industry
In 2021, three ESG risk assessments were conducted; a limited number, as the policy was not established until mid-2021 and the implementation is ongoing. a.s.r. expects to conduct more risk assessments in 2022.
Several times a year, a.s.r. holds knowledge sessions in which underwriters discuss technical insurance topics such as ESG risks in more depth. The discussions cover dilemmas, difficult cases, high-impact cases and societal developments. a.s.r. organised one session for underwriters in 2021 and plans to organise more sessions in 2022.
In the case of extensive ESG risks or multiple ESG risks, the sales representative or underwriter will escalate the risk assessment to the Underwriting Team, consisting of employees from varying backgrounds. The Underwriting Team discusses the case and can decide to reject a customer on the basis of ESG risks or to accept the customer subject to conditions (such as agreements on the mitigation of the ESG risks). In 2021, this process took place on one occasion. If the Underwriting Team does not reach an agreement, the case is escalated to the managing director of the relevant business line.
a.s.r. remains in contact with customers after acceptance. During the business relationship, a.s.r. checks regularly (or even continually, in the case of high risks) whether the customer still complies with the CDD risk profile and the transaction pattern is in line with expectations. In addition to these tests, a.s.r. regularly conducts dialogues with customers on sustainable business in general and avoiding ESG risks in particular. a.s.r. also plans to hold regular meetings for advisors, focusing on knowledge transfer and raising awareness of ESG risks and opportunities. In 2021, a.s.r. organised two online knowledge sessions for advisors, specifically focusing on climate risks.
With its ambition to continually contribute more towards a sustainable society, a.s.r. continually develops new sustainable products and services. Examples of a.s.r.’s existing sustainable products and services are shown at the end of this chapter. Sustainability is also reflected in the different elements of the product policy:
Before a newly developed or redeveloped insurance product and / or service can be offered in the market, testing takes place. Development and testing takes place via the Product Approval & Review Process (PARP), see also chapter 3.1.2. Within PARP, testing takes place for a number of criteria. Two types of criteria relate to sustainability: customer interest and social interest.
a.s.r. also tests the extent to which products and services have a positive or negative impact on ESG themes. This additional test was developed in 2021 and implementation began in the fourth quarter of this year.
In the PARP Board, further questions are raised on the identified ESG impacts. The board takes the answers into account in the acceptance decision. The board members have the knowledge and expertise to be able to assess the ESG risks and opportunities.
Within the frameworks of the regular pricing policy, a.s.r. focuses on making products sustainably insurable and affordable. In this way, a.s.r. helps customers to become more sustainable.
a.s.r. aims to operate as sustainable as possible. Inspections take place online as far as possible and paper post is avoided to the extent possible. With data-driven applications, a.s.r. applies an ethical framework adopted as binding self-regulation from the Dutch Verbond van Verzekeraars (Association of Insurers) .
The target is to ensure that data-intensive core processes, products, services and applications that affect the customer take account of ethical criteria, such as customer autonomy and privacy, the prevention of exclusion and discrimination and stimulation of the insurability of vulnerable groups or socially relevant activities in society.
The Ik denk Vooruit platform to help customers make conscious financial choices now and in the future and contribute towards a financially healthier society.
First-time buyers mortgage, which give first-time buyers in the housing market more time (up to 40 years) to repay their mortgages and keep their living costs more affordable.
Funeral insurance for vulnerable people under guardianship (e.g. people with mental handicaps), so that they can contract funeral insurance without barriers and health questions.
a.s.r. Vitality: encouraging customers to make healthier choices, including through cash back on premiums paid.
Avoiding longer absences from work with the Doorgaan proposition.
Langer Mee AOV for physically demanding occupations.
Sustainable damage repair through a network of certified repair businesses.
The option of insuring sustainable roofing and facades.
Customers with commercial or private fire insurance are insured against secondary flooding damage.
Attractive products and rates for electric vehicles and vessels.
Additional claims payments for adjustments that must be made in accordance with new sustainability standards. An example is installing double glazing as replacement of the original single glazing.