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Insurance companies in Europe must focus on an aging population




In this series on sustainability, we have discussed different definitions of what sustainability means, from environmental considerations to integrating the needs of vulnerable, underserved communities. At its core, sustainability is about getting resources from one generation to another and making sure the resources are available to all demographic groups. As life expectancy increases, an important demographic that Europeans must take into account in their commitment to sustainability is the aging population.

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Statistica estimates that by 2100 the median age in Europe is estimated to reach 48 years. Even closer than that, in 2050, one in six people in the world will be over 65 years old and the number of people living with dementia will be 2.5 times higher than it is today. It is estimated that there will be close to half a million centenarians in the EU-27 by 2050. The aging population of the EU will have profound consequences for citizens on a personal level in terms of livelihood, career and care. This is contagious to the government, business and civil society and affects health care systems, labor markets, public finances and pension rights. When customers’ needs change in response to this, insurance companies must create strategies to insure and provide solutions for an older population.

The technology we have at our disposal is that the insurance industry is well positioned to make meaningful interventions in the lives of aging consumers. As we refine what our insurance ecosystems can do, there are several value points to explore. For example, in a recent blog post – Innovation rises to meet the risk of disability and long-term care – by Accenture, Global Insurance Sector Lead, Kenneth Saldanha, he mentions that at CES 2022 in Las Vegas, home robot products were launched to help with housekeeping, for example. . The guiding principle for these ecosystems is to prevent, mitigate and manage the risks of disease and disability, even later in life.

As Europeans live longer than ever before and society’s age profile develops rapidly, insurance companies are finding ways to rethink long-term care. Although the gap is narrowing, women outnumber men in old age and in society, and insurance companies need to take this into account when designing products and services for seniors.

Examples of finding new ways to reshape insurance for seniors include the Dutch insurance group Achmea, which has stated its intention to create long-term care insurance that enables the elderly to be independent for as long as possible. And MAPFRE in Spain launches new long-term care policies that provide quick access to benefits as part of their broader “senior generation” initiative.

Older people in Europe are more likely than younger generations to live in rural areas, and these areas often suffer from a low supply of services. The answer to tackling the problems of access to key services in rural areas is largely based on solidarity, and therefore the model of mutual health care, based on solidarity and limited profitability, can be the key to a sustainable and inclusive recovery.

It’s not just about aging on the spot. Insurance companies like Staysure Travel Insurance provide products that are tailored for travelers over the age of 50 in the UK. Retiring is a dream for many, but in the current global economic climate, saving can be a challenge. Insurance Europe reports that the challenge of having an adequate income in retirement is particularly acute for certain groups, primarily those whose ability to save has been hit hardest by the effects of the pandemic. Multiple pension schemes, which supplement state pensions with occupational pensions and personal pensions, are generally regarded as the most sustainable and effective schemes. And life insurance companies are major providers of these occupational pensions and personal pensions.

As with any change in the market, insurance companies can benefit from being guided by the needs of their customers. In this case, it is a matter of meeting the full needs of an important market segment that will increase the sustainable impact that European insurance companies will have for many years to come.


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Disclaimer: This content is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be used in consultation with our professional advisors.


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