The Pan-Asia Risk and Insurance Management Association (PARIMA) has requested for the insurers and brokers across the Asia Pacific region to come together with flexibility and partnership in order for businesses in the region to survive as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its message, PARIMA stated: “In an unprecedented crisis, many companies are under great pressure and for some, it may be a question of survival.”
PARIMA suggested insurers and intermediaries should endeavour to treat customers fairly and grant flexibility to business customers, as well as individual consumers when reasonable and practical across both the timing and extent of premium payments and claims negotiations.
“The support of the insurance industry is going to be critical for businesses, and it is paramount that businesses have continued access to insurance and are kept well informed as we navigate these uncertain times,” the association added.
PARIMA recognised that insurers are also under stress, and highlighted that they are not in favour of regulators imposing retroactive coverage of claims that were not envisaged within contracts as this could create material solvency risks for insurers.
“Regulators enforcing retrospective changes would jeopardise contract certainty and erode the trust needed to build a long term and collaborative relationship, a relationship that will be essential for business in recovering from the pandemic”, PARIMA explained.
The board is also “strongly advocating for the creation of national/regional insurance pools for future pandemic risks”.
PARIMA noted that national/regional pools have been previously useful in responding to other severe and widespread risks, such as terrorism, and could prove to be equally relevant in dealing with a global pandemic exposure.
The association said it is prepared to provide an expert view from risk and insurance managers to support this cause.