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Corporate responsibility in insurance business

Our business is the assumption and diversification of risks in primary insurance and reinsurance. We possess strong leverage for sustainable action by linking economic success with added value for society. In insurance business, we principally achieve this through a strong client focus, the integration of sustainability criteria – environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects, and by offering responsible products and services.

ESG criteria integrated into processes and products

We systematically take ESG aspects into account in our insurance business. The systematic integration of ESG aspects enables us to identify these risks and to minimise them in cooperation with our clients. We also make use of collaboration with other partners, institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

This approach is relevant for our business in three different ways:

We can identify ESG-related risks faster, thereby adding an additional dimension to our risk management. This also helps us to avoid any reputational risks for the Group.
We enhance our business partners’ risk awareness on sustainability issues.
By uncovering ESG risks, we develop new business opportunities and coverage concepts, which we then translate into sustainable solutions.

Risk-based management established Group-wide

We have identified seven sensitive topics or sectors. Binding guidelines or best practice recommendations were drawn up for these topics, which are applicable for reinsurance, primary insurance and investment.

The following exclusions apply for our insurance business: There is a Group-wide policy applicable for banned weapons, stipulating that Munich Re does not insure or invest in companies that manufacture cluster bombs or land mines, or in companies that trade in them or transport them. This applies where such transactions or operations are known.

Regarding the coal sector, Munich Re stoped insuring the construction of new coal-fired power plants or new coal mines and individual risks in industrialised countries, as well as in the bulk of emerging markets as well. There may be a small number of exceptions in countries where a substantial portion of the population (more than 10%) has no access to electricity. These are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. In 2019 we discontinued the insurance and reinsurance of individual risks of oil sands mining projects and related infrastructure.

Commitment to the PSI initiative on ESG integraton

Commitment to the PSI initiative
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Munich Re actively contributed to a PSI initiative which in February 2019,  presented for the first time a compilation of best practice examples to assess sustainability risks in non-life insurance. The proposed ESG  standards are the result of several years of collaboration of leading insurers and key stakeholders at global level. This highlights a systematic approach that insurers can take for ESG risks. Our aim is to continually refine the assessment of ESG risks, while at the same time incorporating the standards developed by the  PSI initiative.

Developing marketable solutions from ESG risks

Our core business constantly faces new kinds of risks and global challenges. We develop innovative solution concepts for ESG risks, while opening up new business opportunities. In keeping with our shared-value approach, we generate benefits for our Group and for society as a whole. In our materiality analysis, we have identified climate change, digitalisation and risk awareness as focus topics.
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Corporate Responsibility Report

In our Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report, we describe the ways in which we embrace corporate responsibility in our day-to-day operations.

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