As welcome as economic tailwinds are, it will be by no means plain sailing as the Covid-19 crisis will cause long-term shifts in the insurance risk landscape.
One of the major changes brought on by the pandemic, set to shape the insurance industry in the long-run, are changes related to the altered behavior of economic actors—affecting equally the state, companies, and households.
The systemic nature of Covid-19 has led the state to acknowledge its role of the ultimate risk taker, assuming the financial losses of the crisis for both the households and the companies. Responsibilities for financial risks resulting from an illness or job loss have, in the case of Covid-19, been taken on by the state. Emboldened by the success of these measures, the experience marks the return of the strong state, which uses its resources to actively shape the economy and society according to its ideas and concepts.
What this implies for the insurance industry is more intrusive regulation, asking about "value for money," i.e. whether products and services really meet customers' expectations and needs. The industry could and should see it as an opportunity to bring about change resulting in better products, stronger reputation, and higher customer centricity.
On a more fundamental level, Covid-19 has exposed the limits of (private) insurability when it comes to systemic risks. Other risks, such as natural catastrophes and cybercrime have the potential to also reach systemic dimensions. This means that the industry should use this as an opportunity to forge new private-public partnerships, which is something Allianz has been proposing.