Chairman praises industry’s performance during crisis

The insurance industry weathered the global financial crisis well and has good prospects for growth going forward, according to José Manuel Martínez, chairman of Spanish insurance group MAPRE.

Speaking on a panel discussion at the International Insurance Society`s 46th Annual Seminar in Madrid titled ‘Global Leadership Panel: The Road to Recovery’, Martínez said the insurance industry is an essential driver of world economic development, representing more than 7% of global gross domestic product, and highlighted the industry’s ability to grow in complex situations.

“The crisis has strengthened the insurance activity – it is one of the best-performing sectors of the economy,” he said.

Martínez contended that several factors would sustain the growth of the insurance industry, including the growing role of emerging markets in the global economy and increased savings rates during the crisis.

Martínez also pointed out that insurers’ success would be determined by their ability to adapt to changing economic conditions by making changes to distribution, product design and service.

MAPFRE’s chairman concluded his speech by urging lawmakers, supervisors and society in general to recognise the differences between insurance and other financial services, and to take account of these differences when establishing new capital requirements, thus avoiding excessive increases.

“Without the industry economic development would not take place”, he said. “It is essential to return to ethics, exemplary managerial behaviour and to a culture of success based on values.”