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The European Priorities for the Mutual Insurers

Grzegorz BUCZKOWSKI * Président, AMICE (Association des assureurs mutuels et coopératifs en Europe) ; directeur général, Saltus TUW (Pologne). Contact :

European mutual/cooperative insurers benefit consumers, businesses and wider society through their focus on providing value to their members/policyholders rather than to external investors. The model has seen a significant increase in market share in the past decade, enhancing policyholders' long-term security and providing socio-economic values to the wider European community. This paper uses the results of a detailed longitudinal study of European mutual/cooperative insurers' key market indicators including types of business, premium income, assets and overall market share to examine the value of the mutual/cooperative insurance business model in the European context and identify where the current European system does not adequately support structural diversity.

Different approaches in EU Member States and EFTA countries towards diverse legal models within the insurance sector have led to inconsistencies in the recognition and treatment of mutual/cooperative insurers. The principle European insurance regulatory infrastructure, Solvency II, does not fully reflect the principle of proportionality. This is identified as having a particularly profound impact on SME insurers in Europe, around half of which are mutual in nature. Regulatory improvement is therefore identified as the dominant priority for mutual insurers in Europe.

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