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Dutch Fair Insurance Guide expands with new eight insurers: Newcomers score poorly on sustainability

Thursday, December 2, 2021

  • Consumers can now compare 95% of the insurance market on sustainability
  • Policy of De Goudse, DSW, Klaverblad, ONVZ, Unigarant (ANWB), Univé, ZLM, Zorg en Zekerheid well-below par.

The Dutch Fair Insurance Guide has expanded its assessment from 9 to 17 insurers. The online tool, which assesses the sustainability performance of insurers on themes such as labor rights, health, corruption or transparency, now covers about 95 percent of the health, non-life and life insurance market in the Netherlands. That's the good news. Unfortunately, there is also less good news; new research released today shows the sustainable investment policy of the 8 newcomers is considerably substandard with  insufficient policies to prevent them from investing in companies that are not socially responsible.

For the first time the Dutch Fair Insurance Guide is looking at the sustainable investment policies of ONVZ, De Goudse, DSW, ZLM, Unigarant (ANWB), Zorg en Zekerheid, Univé and Klaverblad. In the research, the eight insurers are assessed on their policies on fourteen environmental, social and governance themes. The scores are low across the board. “We count a total of 8 passes, while there are 104 unsatisfactory,” says Titus Bolten, Project Leader of the Dutch Fair Insurance Guide. “On some themes, such as animal welfare, gender equality or nature, almost none of the investigated insurers have any policy at all. Only Klaverblad scores slightly better on these themes.” There are also a few positive outliers: for their weapons policy, Klaverblad and Univé both receive a 10, the highest possible score.

The best performing insurer also scores insufficient on average

Of the eight insurers surveyed, Klaverblad scores best, even though its investment policy is generally still insufficient. For example, Klaverblad only got a 5 for its climate policy, however this score still meant it  ranked highest of the eight insurers on the climate theme.

In 2022, the Fair Insurance Guide will reassess the policies of the eight insurers, in a study in which all seventeen insurers will be  included in the benchmark. Speaking on the matter Titus Bolten says “The eight insurers that we have now examined for the first time have to work hard if they want to catch up with the others. There are many opportunities. The report illustrates concretely how insurers can improve their policy on all topics'.

Good legislation offers a solution

"It doesn't really surprise us that the eight insurers still have so little policy," says Bolten. 'We recognize the pattern that financial institutions often only move when there is pressure and dialogue to do so. The organizations behind the Fair Insurance Guide can help insurers make their policies more sustainable, based on their knowledge and expertise from which the insurers can benefit greatly. It would of course be much better if there was good legislation that obliged companies to behave in a socially responsible manner. This is something that will be discussed in the House of Representatives today.  A private member's bill has already been drafted and is receiving a lot of support, including from businesses and consumers. The Fair Insurance Guide argues for the rapid implementation of this law.'

Expansion of the Fair Insurance Guide

“The expansion with these eight insurers meets a need,” says Bolten. “Over the years, many of their customers have expressed an interest in the sustainability performance of their insurer. These people can now come to us and through our website they can encourage their insurer by sending a complaint, or a compliment. That pressure drives the performance up.”

 

 

The Fair Insurance Guide

The Fair Insurance Guide, founded in 2013, is part of the Fair Finance Guide, a partnership of Amnesty International, Milieudefensie, Oxfam Novib, PAX and World Animal Protection. At https://eerlijkegeldwijzer.nl/verzekeringswijzer/ everyone can check the scores of the see and compare insurers for their investment policy on fourteen social themes.

The policy research was carried out by Profundo for the Fair Insurance Guide.

Note to the editor

For more information, please contact Ruud Bosgraaf, via tel. 06-2334 1533 or via r.bosgraaf@amnesty.nl. On behalf of the Fair Insurance Guide, Titus Bolten is available for further information

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