Zurich, March 22, 2012 - Zurich Financial Services Group
(Zurich) reinforces its long term commitment to generate
positive economic, social and environmental impacts, and
has made a substantial strategic investment in the amount
of USD 100 million into the Z Zurich Foundation, as already
included in the annual results 2011. The Z Zurich
Foundation combines financial investments with Zurich's
insurance and risk management expertise to generate a
meaningful impact on pressing societal challenges that
cannot be solved quickly. Community investment is an
important part within Zurich's broader corporate
responsibility strategy and reflects the company's
commitment to invest in the sustainable development of the
communities in which Zurich operates. The Z Zurich
Foundation invests in select strategic long-term
partnerships addressing well-defined focus areas related to
key societal issues, notably sustainable disaster
management and sustainable economic development in emerging
markets. Current partnerships include the International
Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies, Practical
Action and the Rainforest Alliance.
Growing relevance of insurance
The significant investment in the Z Zurich Foundation
enhances the overall social and economic value of Zurich as
an insurance group. The insurance industry is of increasing
relevance both due to the issues raised in the aftermath of
the financial crisis and the developments, challenges and
risks the world is facing. Against this backdrop, Zurich
today published a paper about the increasing social and
economic role of insurance.
Kevin Hogan, CEO Global Life at Zurich, commented:
"Although some insurance products are familiar to most
people, the important role played by insurance generally in
society is not well understood. The basic role of insurance
is to increase security of people or companies and the
implications of this role are important to us all.
Insurance helps protect people and companies from
risks unknown or unpredictable events or situations
and to better prepare for their future. Insurance has
played an important role in people's lives and
development of commerce through history, and will continue
to play an even more important role in these turbulent
times." And he added: "It is likely that the importance of
the insurance industry will increase in the coming decades
and that new insurance solutions will be needed. First,
large parts of the world remain without sufficient
insurance coverage. Second, insured exposures around the
world will probably increase significantly. Third, given
the severely strained systems of many countries' public
finances, the private sector in general and the insurance
industry in particular are well positioned to play a more
prominent role in the provision of old age and disability
pensions as well as health insurance."
The following trends highlight the increasing role of
Based on the probable development of insurance
penetration and estimated growth rates, Zurich expects
insured exposures to double between 2010 and 2020.
With rising income levels, insurance penetration will
most likely rise in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
It is probable that in the future, governments will
continue to reduce their provision of social obligations,
putting even greater reliance on private solutions. At
the moment, a large part of the provision for old age,
disability and health is provided by governments. Given
the current challenges to public finances, the private
sector will likely have to play a more important role.
Effects of natural disasters might increase in the next
decades. Their economic impact will certainly increase
since the world is more and more densely populated.
Insurance against disasters as well as disaster response
and prevention have to be improved. Where private
solutions are not sufficient, public-private partnerships
can help to supply the lacking coverage.