Helvetia gives an update on the consequences of COVID-19
Swiss insurer Helvetia is sharing some updates regarding claims and acquiring new customers during COVID-19.
The insurer said that most of its policyholders in the restaurant business have accepted settlements following disputes over cover for the COVID-19 pandemic, a solution it said will help struggling companies and avoid legal costs for itself. The settlement solution presented by Helvetia in May for Swiss gastronomy businesses with a pandemic exclusion in their epidemic insurance has been well received, with over 85% of those companies affected having given their agreement to date. This approach has enabled Helvetia to provide security for the affected businesses and, at the same time, reduce its own risks, resulting from legal action for example. Helvetia has also established similar solutions for those gastronomy businesses affected in Germany and Austria.
Payments under the settlement solution and regular claims payments triggered by the consequences of COVID-19 will result, based on current knowledge, in a net impact on the insurance result in the high double-digit millions (before taxes). Most of the losses are in the Swiss market and will already be included in the interim result. In the country markets of Italy and Spain, which are heavily affected by COVID-19, the technical impact of the pandemic is low.
In regards to acquiring news customers, COVID-19 led to a temporary fall in new business compared to previous years as well as a reduction in outflows. There are now signs of a recovery. Furthermore, that the bank distribution channels in Italy and Spain were less affected by the reduction in new business and proved to be stable. Helvetia will significantly expand this important distribution channel in Spain with its planned acquisition of Caser.