It is crucial to our company's success that we are perceived by our customers as a preferred business partner. If we are to achieve this goal, we must offer prices commensurate with the risks, adequate capacities and a reliable value proposition. Not only that, we encourage an active dialogue with our customers. By means of events held for clients we promote knowledge sharing on the latest issues and developments in the world of insurance and we give customers an opportunity to provide feedback on our products and services in the context of face-to-face discussions. As a business-to-business service provider, the fair design of our products – i.e. of contracts with primary insurers – is an essential prerequisite for our business. We expect integrity from all our employees at all times in their dealings with clients and have enshrined these expectations on a mandatory basis in our Code of Conduct, which is applicable worldwide.
In the context of our materiality process we identified the issues of customer orientation and satisfaction as material.
We maintain close contacts with our customers. In order to respond quickly and flexibly to individual customer requirements, we emphasise flat hierarchies, direct decision-making channels and the importance of empowering underwriters with the appropriate authorities. By means of conferences that we hold on specific topics, seminars and business trips, we cultivate an ongoing and regular dialogue with our clients, consolidate our customer relationships and use the direct feedback provided on our efforts as an opportunity to further optimise our activities. In accordance with our Sustainability Strategy 2018 – 2020, we continued to step up our exchange of views with customers and expanded our international dialogue channels in the year under review.
Our customer relationships are cultivated on the level of individual divisions and departments. In property and casualty reinsurance we cultivate our customer relationships both directly and through reinsurance brokers by way of regular business trips or video conferences. Not only that, our employees attend trade fairs and specialist gatherings around the world and organise seminars for our clients on specific subjects. Through information events such as the seminar series "Building Bridges" in property and casualty reinsurance we foster an exchange of ideas within the industry. In this context, every year since 2012 we have offered our international customers the multi-day seminar "Advanced Reinsurance Methods, Practices and Current Topics". Starting in 2016 we expanded our offering to include the topics "Credit, Surety and Political Risks". Additionally, our subsidiary E+S Rück holds specialist conferences for its customers to share information on claims/risk management and to give presentations on topics such as compliance, sanctions, the reform of insurance supervision law associated with Solvency II and climate change.
Our subsidiary in India held its "Annual Risk Seminar" for underwriters and claims management specialists working in the industry in the year under review. Covering topics such as psychological disorders, lung diseases, genetics, disability claims and simplified underwriting, our members of staff shared their expertise in risk management, research and innovation. In Kuala Lumpur we successfully completed our first actuarial training activity with 20 primary insurance clients.
In life and health reinsurance we have a direct local presence in most markets based on our decentralised approach and are thus able to exchange views with our clients quickly and flexibly. In addition to business trips to visit individual clients, we also organise seminars – usually on specific topics – and training workshops in the markets where we operate so as to keep our customers informed about the latest issues and developments relating to life and health reinsurance as well as underwriting. In the form of the customer newsletter "ReCent Medical News" we have regularly published information since 2014 on medical and socioeconomic issues – including through social media such as LinkedIn. Further flyers on a broad spectrum of topics –ranging from automated underwriting to the very latest information – can be retrieved through our website's Media Centre in various languages (including Spanish, French, Polish, German, English, Chinese and Italian). Flyers are also available here for download on a range of issues that we tackle in the context of our working group on "Emerging Risks & Scientific Affairs".
As part of our company's progressive digitalisation, we are currently working on the development of a digital platform in life insurance. This involves a B2B platform on which – along with our own reinsurance solutions and services – it is envisaged that third-party providers will also be able to market innovative insurance-related services and products. At the present time the platform is still undergoing testing and has so far only been used internally for dialogue purposes.
We conduct regular surveys to measure the satisfaction of our customers on both a regional and Group-wide basis – not only independently but also with the support of external market research institutes when it comes to certain markets. In view of the importance that we attach to accommodating the specific features of individual markets, we consciously do not carry out any general uniform survey of customer satisfaction on a global basis across all our divisions.
We process the results of our customer surveys and studies in-house so as to identify potential action fields. The steps taken have not only served to improve the perception of our brand, they have also made our services and products stronger. In recent years, for example, we have enhanced our automated underwriting systems according to the wishes of our customers and we have brought new product ideas to market.
Since 2000, for example, we have conducted customer satisfaction surveys in our market department serving Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy in a three-year cycle. This reflects our desire to achieve continuous quality improvement as well as high customer satisfaction. Market research carried out by an independent marketing institute in 2016 explored the views of more than 90% of our German customers and reached the following conclusion:
"E+S Rück is perceived above all as a loyal, sympathetic and trustworthy company that values long-term customer relationships".
In our business group of Life & Health reinsurance we cooperate with a market research agency on an annual survey of reinsurance customers in the markets of the United States, Europe, South Africa, Canada, Australia and Asia. The data give us a comprehensive customer perspective on the quality of our services as well as an assessment of the perception of the Hannover Re brand in the various markets. In 2017 our favourable standing in the eyes of our customers on international markets remained unchanged. The intensive and wide-ranging dialogue that we cultivate with our clients played a major part in this.
In addition, since 2012 the market research agency has also provided the Board members responsible for the Life & Health reinsurance business group with an annual global study on the development of different business segments, a dedicated perspective on life reinsurance markets and trends in primary insurance business, an area-wide analysis of market penetration and market perception as well as a profile of strengths and weaknesses from the customer's viewpoint. Most notably, in the financial solutions segment in the United States we are regarded as the market leader and "Best in Class". Our customers find us to be a business partner who is exceptionally pleasant and easy to work with. Our direct approachability, flexibility and quick response times are evaluated particularly favourably by customers and considered a competitive advantage in comparison with our peers. Our regular analysis of the study's findings also enables us to measure the success of our strategy and make any necessary adjustments.
|Awards received over the past five years|
|2019||Reinsurer of the Year – Latin America (Reactions)|
|2018||Property and Casualty Reinsurer of the Year – Australia (Insurance Asia News)|
|2017||ReTakaful Company of the Year (Middle East Insurance Industry Awards)|
|Specialty Reinsurer of the Year (Reactions North America Awards)|
|2016||Reinsurer of the Year (Reactions London Market Awards)|
|Reinsurance Team of the Year: Specialty Team (Reactions London Market Awards)|
|2015||Best Reinsurer for Client Responsiveness: GWP > $2bn (Intelligent Insurer North America Awards)|
|Best Reinsurer for Innovation: GWP > $2bn (Intelligent Insurer North America Awards)|
|Best Reinsurer for Expertise and Market Knowledge: GWP > $2 bn (Intelligent Insurer North America Awards)|
|Reinsurer of the Year (Reactions London Market Awards)|
|Ulrich Wallin „Reinsurance CEO of the Year“ (Reactions London Market Awards)|
|Best Columbia Reinsurer (Reactions)|
|2014||Middle East Award: Best Reinsurer for Client Service (Intelligent Insurer)|
|Best Argentina Reinsurer (Reactions Latin America Awards)|
|Best Reinsurer in the rest of South America incl. Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay (Reactions Latin America Awards)|
|Hannover ReTakaful "Best International ReTakaful Operator of the Year", "ReTakaful CEO of the Year": Mahomed Akoob (International Takaful Summit)|
Unlike in the retail insurance sector, the reinsurance industry is not subject to statutory requirements to provide product or service information to its customers. On the contrary, in the context of taking out a reinsurance treaty it is normally the primary insurers that are required to provide detailed information to reinsurers about their business operations and the reinsured portfolio so that the reinsurer can accurately assess the risks. In the reporting period there were no incidents of non-compliance with our duties to provide information about products or services. Nor were there any incidents of non-compliance with voluntary codes governing requirements to provide information. We do not conduct any advertising measures aimed at end customers in the sense of product marketing. Isolated marketing activities are carried out for the Hannover Re and E+S Rück brands, for example through image advertisements and information brochures about the company's orientation. Sales promotion takes place solely through individual contacts with clients.