Risk reports mirror outcomes of Allianz Motor Day: more green initiatives needed to solve climate change 

The recently published WEF Global Risk Report and the Allianz Risk Barometer both have one focus on risks resulting from climate change. For example, according to the WEF Report, six out of ten main concerns over the next decade are environmental. 

Multiple types of actions are needed to solve such a far-reaching challenge. In accordance, increasing sustainability in motor insurance including reduced CO2 footprints were the core focus of the latest Allianz Motor Day panel discussion, during which cross-industry experts advocated various reliable methods to cut emissions. And so far, to inspiringly positive public reaction. 

According to speakers at the 10th Allianz Motor Day panel discussion, interesting and efficient green strategies also amount to great customer experiences. People who participate in green initiatives find them purposeful and identify with the positive action. Even better, should they choose to participate in simple measures, such as video or photo assessments of the damage caused by a light accident, customers benefit. On the one hand, general waiting time is reduced, since there’s no need for someone to drive to the spot of the crash. On the other, an intervention car kept off the road directly reduces CO2 emissions. “A vast majority of accidents and breakdowns only generate very little damage, which is quite simple to assess over a video call, for example. Innovations like these provide both carbon emission reduction and a great customer experience. Allianz customers in Germany rate this 4.7 out of 5 stars,” revealed Donna Stewart, Head of Global Claims at Allianz SE.

As humanity’s most pressing issue for the next decades, climate change has to be tackled in as many day to day aspects as possible. When intertwined, diverse green initiatives add up to smaller and smaller carbon footprints. Combine a video assessment, for instance, with choosing to repair a slightly damaged part instead of replacing it, and the positive impact grows further. The ‘Repair vs. Replace’ initiative is a remarkable way of reducing environmental impact, where even a slight increase in repair rate yields significant outcomes. Allianz data shows that raising this rate by just 2 percentage points across Europe will cut 30,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year, equivalent to the annual energy consumption of more than 5,000 households.

Moreover, getting a part repaired or using a recycled one gets the car back to its owner faster by avoiding current supply chain issues. The customer acceptance projections are, fortunately, encouraging in this respect as well. “In one of our most recent surveys in the German market, 89 percent of engaged consumers said they will accept the installment of recycled parts that have been certified instead of new parts in case a part of their car gets damaged. People have a very positive attitude towards this measure in general. It benefits the customer and the environment,” said Dr. Christoph Lauterwasser, Managing Director of the Allianz Center for Technology.  

The same survey, however, showed that only 44 percent of respondents believe electric vehicles are more sustainable than cars with combustion engines. “We have clear data in this respect. There is a big overall reduction of CO2 emissions with an electric vehicle compared to a conventional car. The problem is that there’s a lot of misleading communication about EV carbon footprints, specifically about the batteries”, pointed out Dr. Thomas Becker, Head of Sustainability and Mobility - BMW Group. According to Becker, sweeping or inaccurate messages are often spread, such as: “With the German electricity mix, an EV is no better than a combustion engine”, “Until all electricity is green, you shouldn't buy an EV", or "Cobalt is generally made with child labor".

"Our approach is to provide clean and differentiated information and to minimize risks, for example by not buying cobalt in the Congo, but in Australia and Morocco, or by using green electricity in our charging service," he explains. 

Too sweeping or misleading communication is also known by others: “It’s similar in the UK, and there’s still a lot to be done to educate people about EV’s. Misconceptions about EV’s such as range anxiety still keep consumers away from sustainable driving, and one role of insurance companies is to help them through their apprehensions”, concurred Hugh Kenyon, Pricing Director at LV= General Insurance. 

To fulfil the specific needs of electric vehicle drivers, EV dedicated insurance solutions are here to stay. Allianz - which is a founding member of the Net Zero Insurance Alliance with the goal of decarbonizing its insurance portfolios - will soon launch a ‘one-stop shop’ platform that aims at giving customers “peace of mind”, according to Laurent Floquet, CEO for Mobility and Assistance of Allianz Partners. Customer anxiety about buying a new or used electric car will be tackled by offering for example battery certification, mobile charging, wallbox installation, and specific maintenance packs. All of it aimed at making sustainable driving more and more attractive.

Greater cooperation on climate mitigation was one of the key appeals heard at WEF 2023. Speakers at the Allianz Motor Day panel discussion were in conformity with this course of action, already seeking cross-industry cooperation that could prove crucial in the worldwide effort for sustainability. “In the UK, we introduced the Green Heart Standard, a key part of which is sustainability. We then went to our body shop partners and marked it as the direction we want to travel to. They’ve all received the change very positively and got certification,” Hugh Kenyon pointed out. 

Technical partner AkzoNobel immediately endorsed the environmentally conscious initiative. “We’re a proud partner of LV= in the UK, so we’ve been closely involved with the Green Heart Standard. I think it’s a great first step that was very well received in the United Kingdom. It created waves in the market and a lot of industry partners followed”, said Sander Knip, Country Cluster Manager, Vehicle Refinishes, for the UK, Ireland and Benelux. He also emphasized that much of the initiative’s appeal rested in the development of demonstrable sustainability plans. “Being able to set objective targets, based on key performance indicators, is what the industry was looking for. We need to have actual measurable targets to meet,” Knip reflected.

And according to Donna Stewart of Allianz SE, there is something in it for every participant in the global effort for sustainability. “We need to collaborate and create standards that are agreed upon and accepted across industries. This way, people and companies can aim to meet the standards and gain certification to be part of the ecosystem,” she stated. 

With standardized cross-industry cooperation on the way, along with predominantly positive customer perception, the rate of acceptance of green initiatives within different markets could prove to be the key question. Allianz Motor Day panel speakers looked at the issue confidently, indicating that different countries and cultures might differ with regards to the time it will take to adopt green(er) ways - with everyone walking the same path, only at a different pace.

The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with around 125 million* private and corporate customers in nearly 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing around 746 billion euros** on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage about 1.8 trillion euros** of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we are among the leaders in the insurance industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2023, over 157,000 employees achieved total business volume of 161.7 billion euros and an operating profit of 14.7 billion euros for the group.
* Including non-consolidated entities with Allianz customers.
** As of March 31, 2024.
As with all content published on this site, these statements are subject to our cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements:

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