By offering sustainable reinsurance solutions and supporting sustainable primary insurance solutions and by integrating sustainability aspects into our underwriting, we are able to respond to the opportunities and risks associated with these issues and come up with innovations. What is more, we can prevent risks having adverse impacts on society and our company. In this way, we help to minimise negative environmental and social repercussions. Sustainable insurance solutions are therefore a topic of major concern to us. Extensive exclusions, however, can also cause the insurance gap to grow, with the result that the protection in place against risks is inadequate. It is therefore important for us to give comprehensive consideration to all the implications.
We transact all lines of property & casualty and life & health reinsurance worldwide. Our products and services are optimally tailored to the individual requirements of our clients and the specific conditions of each market. The ethical and moral standards that we set for our own actions also make themselves felt in our products and services and in our dealings with clients. As a reinsurer, i.e. a provider of business-to-business services, with few exceptions we have no direct contact with end consumers. As a general principle, then, our business activities do not create direct access to financial services. Through our range of products we nevertheless indirectly help many people to access insurance protection. Indeed, it is frequently only thanks to internationally operating reinsurers that primary insurers are even in a position to cover large individual risks and those associated with natural perils. Not only for this reason are sustainable insurance solutions fundamental to us. Furthermore, we assist not only established but also young insurance companies with the cost-intensive acquisition of new business and with increasing insurance density. By delivering insurance solutions such as microinsurance and agricultural insurance products we additionally contribute to social development in structurally deprived regions. These enable people with scant financial means to protect themselves against basic risks such as the consequences of natural disasters or crop failures. The further expansion of sustainable reinsurance solutions and stepping up of our collaboration with primary insurers was a goal of our Sustainability Strategy 2015 – 2017 that we shall carry over to the new 2018 – 2020 strategy cycle.
In property and casualty reinsurance we attach the utmost importance to minimising adverse environmental effects as well as to improving financial inclusion and increasing resilience worldwide. On the one hand, with these goals in mind we support environmental products such as aquaculture insurance as well as insurance solutions to promote renewable energy sources and carbon sequestration techniques. On the other hand, we also participate in socially oriented products such as index-based disaster finance concepts to assist countries at short notice in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters as well as micro- and agricultural insurance solutions in developing and emerging nations.
Demand for the insurance of agricultural land and livestock continues to grow, especially in view of a steadily increasing global population and the associated rising need for food as well as the effects of climate change.
Insuring agricultural production is particularly important for the development of poor regions. In addition to protecting against variations in yield, a number of positive socioeconomic factors play a role here. These include, among other things, the possibility for insured farmers to be able to invest more easily in agricultural and non-agricultural business sectors and hence contribute to stability in rural areas. Against this backdrop, for example, the InsuResilience initiative of the G7 nations launched at the instigation of the German federal government has set itself the goal of offering insurance protection against climate risks to 400 million poor and at-risk individuals in developing countries by the year 2020. The resulting increasingly widespread implementation of public-private partnerships presents new opportunities for our company to write profitable business in markets that have still to mature. We are already supporting selected projects currently being conducted as part of this initiative that are intended to strengthen the resilience of various countries. The growing availability of new technologies, such as remote sensing by satellites, will enable us to further enlarge our scope of business through innovative and efficient insurance products. These include, for example, parametric covers under which the insurance benefit is dependent not on an actual loss but rather on an objectively measurable criterion (e.g. quantities of precipitation). In 2017 we wrote premium in the mid-triple-digit millions (EUR) in the area of agricultural risks, with around three-quarters of the total amount coming from developing and emerging markets in South America, Asia and Africa.
On the life and health reinsurance side we are primarily concerned with the issues of digitalisation and demographic transition. In the area of longevity products we are tackling the trend towards a rising life expectancy with our range of enhanced annuities. Through the online sale of life insurance products as well as our active support for health business on markets with inadequate healthcare provision, we contribute to social and financial inclusion and increase insurance density on a number of markets. Furthermore, we promote insureds' healthy living through holistic lifestyle insurance concepts and in South Africa, for example, we support a primary insurer that enables its customers to invest part of the premium for charitable purposes when they purchase an insurance policy.
Around a third of the population suffers from impairment of the musculoskeletal system. With an innovative solution such as Qinematic Posture Scan software, we enable primary insurers to both mitigate adverse effects and improve their decision-making powers in risk and claim assessment through reliable 3D measurements. Body posture, balance and movement are scanned and generated as 3D video in a matter of just a few minutes. Physical weaknesses or asymmetries are easily identified and specific health issues can thereby be prevented. Reliable digital 3D measurements can significantly improve the insurer's decision-making powers during underwriting as well as claims management.