Workshop Demonstrates the Value of Standards and Accreditation in the Insurance Sector
The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) supported the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and its Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO) to organise and host a seminar to explore the role and benefits of standards and accreditation in managing risk for the insurance industry. The workshop brought together experts from conformity assessment and the insurance industry, standards developers and business representatives to discuss issues such as extreme events and business continuity planning, reducing exposure to product liability claims, the challenges of globalised supply chains, and how technology will affect the sector.
The session, which was moderated by Anthony Hilton, Evening Standard Finance Correspondent, included speakers from the National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL), Zurich, Mitsubishi Corporation, Liberty Global, Pyrology Limited and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Matt Baker, Howden Insurance Brokers, also provided an overview of the scheme that they have developed for the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited organisations, and how they use accreditation against ISO standards to evaluate risk. Michael Mainelli, UKAS non-executive, also delivered a presentation that brought out the key points from research carried out by the Z/Yen Group ‘Opportunities for Standards in Insurance’ which showed that the adoption of voluntary standards and accreditation would be particularly suitable around product development, product information and processes in insurance. http://www.longfinance.net/images/BSILF_standards_insurance_October2014.pdf
Many of the speakers from the sector cited the benefits that they receive having adopted international standards covered by accreditation. Mr Ono Takahiro, from Mitsubishi Corporation Insurance, stated that the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) provides a more attractive loan rate and discounted insurance premiums to commercial businesses that have accredited certification of their business continuity management system to ISO 22301 / 22313. This has helped the bank to manage its risk exposure as it has encouraged firms to build resilience and to be in better control of their risks. Matt Baker, Howden Insurance Brokers, shared their experience of setting up a scheme for UKAS-accredited organisations, where there are robust standards in place, there is a clear process of demonstrating compliance to those standards, and there are consequences for non-compliance. This has allowed them to work with an engaged insurer to offer discounts on premiums and better policy coverage. Analysis of the claims record demonstrates that standards and accreditation reduce the number of claims and therefore reduce insurer losses.
Antonio Terracina, Director of the Italian Workers' Compensation Authority, INAIL, reported how OHSAS 18001 had improved health and safety in the work place. INAIL provides significant discounts in premium to organisations that have accredited certification to OHSAS 18001, which has seen the number of certified organisations rise to 4,500. However, the number of accidents in the workplace has fallen significantly by 27% across the economy. Some sectors have seen significant reductions, namely Construction (33%), Rock and Glass (43%) and Textiles (64%).
ISO and the accreditation community will continue to work together with the insurance sector to ensure that these benefits have a wider reach, and to ensure that the standards development process can better support how insurers manage risk.