ESG in insurance – solutions with sustainable impact
Products and services with a sustainable impact
We continuously work to develop relevant products and services that help solve today’s most pressing societal and environmental issues. Some of the ways we have achieved this recently include:
Here today, gone tomorrow: income can be a fragile thing, especially if a household is hit by disability or another severe reason. Only one in three people have insurance to protect themselves from critical illness, disability or worse.
Zurich conducted research in eleven countries on four continents to find out how aware people are of this risk, why and how they seek to protect themselves, or don’t, and the role of the state and the employer in dealing with this global challenge.
Insuring renewable energy
Zurich proudly insured the construction of many renewable energy projects around the world which have been successfully completed and are now in operation. For example, Zurich insured ’Desert Sunlight’, the building of one of the a largest solar power projects in California, ‘Xina Solar One’ in South Africa, and Ashalim a solar thermal power plant in Israel.
Desert Sunlight is one of the largest photovoltaic solar farms in North America, and Zurich was the lead insurer providing builder’s risk coverage. The farm converts sunlight to electricity, providing enough clean, affordable energy to power approximately 160,000 California homes and displace 300,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year - equivalent to taking 60,000 cars off the road1.
Zurich also insured the construction of Xina Solar One in South Africa and the Ashalim solar thermal power plant in Israel. Xina One, produces enough energy to serve more than 95,000 households, avoiding the emission of more than 348,000 tons of CO2 per year2. The Ashalim thermo-solar plant supplies approximately 70,000 homes with cleaner electricity3.
In Italy, Germany and Switzerland, Zurich provides customized coverage for private home owners and small to mid-size commercial companies to build renewable energy facilities, such as photovoltaic, solar thermal, biomass and geothermal installations.
Our Renewable Energy Generating Equipment policy covers loss of renewable energy generating equipment that a customer owns or operates.
1 Source: http://www.firstsolar.com/en/Resources/Projects/Desert-Sunlight-Solar-Farm
2 Source: https://www.evwind.es/2019/08/21/abengoa-breaks-records-with-xina-solar-one-its-third-concentrated-solar-power-plant-in-south-africa/68543
3 Source: http://helioscsp.com/tag/ashalim/
Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) liability insurance
Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) is the process of capturing carbon from a waste stream, compressing it into a liquid, and storing it in geological foundations thousands of feet below the surface. The CCS liability policy covers loss associated with Carbon Capture and Sequestration operations.
Z Choice Pollution liability insurance
This policy covers loss associated with an existing or new pollution event and includes an embedded Green Remediation supplementary payment. Green remediation includes the increase in costs for following standards, products, methods and processes for improving the environment, increasing energy efficiency and enhancing safety and property protection. This also includes the increase in costs attributable to apply green techniques which operate to minimize waste generation, reduce energy consumption, or conserve natural resources in the execution of a clean-up.
Electric vehicle insurance
We have introduced electric vehicle insurance propositions in Ireland, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Austria and Portugal. These are among the first customized electric vehicle insurance products globally and they support the move toward more environmentally-friendly transportation. In Germany, Zurich provides award-winning additional accidental damage cover for batteries used in electric cars, commercial electric vehicles, and electric motor bikes. In Switzerland, Ireland, Spain, Austria and Portugal, Zurich offers insurance discounts for these vehicles. In Ireland, Spain, Germany Austria and Portugal, Zurich also innovatively addresses the fear of running out of electricity mid-journey by providing tailored breakdown assistance for our private electric car customers. This involves Zurich committing to tow customers' electric cars at no extra cost to the nearest recharging station in the event that they run out of charge.
Zurich Risk Engineering: providing sustainability for our customers
Everything we do is aimed at protecting our customers; their people, their property and their profit. By understanding risk across many industries and customer segments, we help reduce risk and mitigate loss. All of this provides sustainability for our customers in three key areas:
Through our philosophy, approach, products and services, Zurich Risk Engineering provides environmental sustainability by:
Helping prevent losses that may otherwise harm the environment, such as serious fires and pollution.
If things go wrong, through our proactive risk improvement action management programs, we help mitigate losses and reduce their environmental impact.
Supporting customers with new build projects suggesting the latest safety design features and use of sustainable materials.
Sharing our expertise and contributing to global thinking to mitigate risks around flood, storm and earthquake.
Zurich Risk Engineering provides social sustainability by:
Keeping people safe, by preventing accidents and illness in the workplace. This has a societal impact in that we keep people working and reduce health service costs.
Ensuring the longevity and profitability of business organisations, securing jobs and the livelihoods of local communities.
By proactively managing risk for our customers we give them the confidence to expand into new products, service areas and markets.
As well as maintaining financial integrity, we also help to protect brand and reputation.
Zurich Risk Engineering provides governance sustainability by:
“Zurich Recognised Solution” - By sharing best practice we help our customers to be legally compliant with local law and regulations.
We support our customers’ efforts around corporate governance reporting and fully understanding their responsibilities.
Our highly skilled technical personal often give input to both regional and global safety standards such as fire safety and business continuity.
We help keep companies operational, maintaining jobs and hence paying government tax income.
Zurich offers products and services according to local custom, need and local business strategy.
Zurich reaches first time insurance buyers every day with products sold in Latin America through retailers, utility companies and financial institutions.
Basic Ability: Zurich offers Basic Ability, its affordable income protection product, to consumers who might have otherwise find it difficult to purchase such coverage, eg. craftsmen; employees engaged in significant physical work; self-employed people; young people; elderly people. These products are available in Austria, Spain, Italy, Germany and Latin America.
TrueLady: Flexible protection and savings plan for today's women, at every stage in life. Read more
Blue Marble Microinsurance: Zurich Insurance Group is a founding member of Blue Marble Microinsurance, a startup with a mission of providing socially impactful, commercially viable insurance protection to the underserved. Read more
Zurich Switzerland offering an online tool to help detect risks
The following are examples of how Zurich is supporting local communities through its products.
- Savings product in Spain: Zurich's Joint Venture with Banco Sabadell in Spain markets a product that guarantees an amount of savings for children, so they can fulfill their plans. This product cedes a 0.7% to the NGO “Manos Unidas” for projects related to child development.
- Medical expenses insurance in Mexico: In 2016, Zurich Santander Mexico made a donation to Fundación Mark (a children's cancer charity) as result of the sales from "Protección Médica Mujer" Insurance policies.
- Pension fund in Spain: In a joint venture with Banco Sabadell Zurich offers a pension fund developed with Intermon-Oxfam, investing using ethical and social criteria. A percentage of the accumulated volumes is ceded to Intermon Oxfam
- One Tree for One Policy – connecting customers with reforestation: Zurich launched the One Tree for One Policy initiative where we plant a tree for each travel or life insurance policy that is purchased by a customer online. This is currently available in the UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong. Beyond integrating this positive environmental benefit within our products, the aim is also to build broader public awareness around the importance of reforestation and nature-based solutions to address climate change – something that is explicitly communicated to all customers who purchase insurance products within the scope of our expanding One Tree for One Policy initiative.