Recognition for the mutual insurance model: ICMIF’s Global Manifesto is a rallying call for action

Wednesday, 02 March 2016

The launch at the end of 2015 of ICMIF’s first Global Manifesto Protecting Lives and Livelihoods marked a major step forward in ICMIF’s coordinated campaign to get the cooperative and mutual insurance model understood and supported worldwide.

“The Manifesto calls for a formal recognition of the value that mutual and cooperative insurers add to the global economy and society. It calls for action to translate this recognition into meaningful improvements to regulatory, legal and business support structure both globally and at the level of national governments,” says ICMIF CEO Shaun Tarbuck.

“The insurance sector is one of the largest industries in the world and very significant sector in terms of growth, jobs and investment,” Tarbuck continued. “The mutual and cooperative insurance sector represents 27% of the total insurance market with 40% market share in countries such as Japan, France and Germany. Our members have made a serious and wholehearted commitment to protecting lives and livelihoods around the world.”

Tarbuck added: “The mutual and cooperative sector represented 27% of the global insurance market in 2014, writing USD 1.3 trillion in insurance premiums. Our data shows that, year on year, the mutual and cooperative model has been the fastest-growing part of the global insurance market since 2007, with a 30% growth in premium income during this period,” concluded Tarbuck.

Tarbuck described the Manifesto as a key building block in creating effective dialogue between the mutual insurance sector and policymakers, politicians, commentators and regulators. “The Manifesto sets out to prove that the mutual and cooperative insurance sector can offer solutions to the very real economic and social challenges being faced by people all over the world,” he says.

The core content of the Manifesto is a series of eight firm proposals in which ICMIF calls on global, regional and national authorities to ensure an appropriate business environment for cooperative and mutual insurance and for them to engage with cooperative and mutual insurers to help protect lives and livelihoods.

The Global Manifesto from ICMIF calls for:

  • A policy commitment to diverse corporate ownership from all relevant authorities
  • A legislative framework that facilitates free and fair competition and aims to reach best global standards
  • Regulation that is sensitive to the ownership structure of mutuals and cooperatives, their different corporate purpose and that is proportionate to the need to protect consumers
  • A machinery of government that is sufficiently skilled to understand the different objectives of cooperatives and mutuals and is able to produce policy that reflect this.
  • Developing new opportunities for investment in infrastructure by helping mutuals and cooperatives to release some of the USD 8 trillion of their members’ funds for this purpose
  • Facilitating economic development by increasing access to quality insurance to all and especially to those who are excluded
  • Safeguarding societies against natural disasters and environmental change through the development of the Smart Risk investing initiative
  • Helping to deliver the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by creating growth, jobs and a fairer society through wider ownership

ICMIF Senior Vice-President, Membership Services, Liz Green (pictured) says that the Manifesto is a long-term document, which should act as a rallying call for the mutual insurance sector.  “The Manifesto was designed to be used and, if necessary, adapted to assist member organizations in their own national lobbying and advocacy work,” she said. “Now is the time for everyone to unite, to put our model forward. Now it’s over to our members to act locally,” added Green.

“This is the first policy manifesto produced by ICMIF, one of the steps that we are taking on behalf of the sector to give a global voice to the mutual and cooperative insurance industry worldwide,” said Shaun Tarbuck.

The Global Manifesto can be downloaded from the ICMIF website.