Suddenly, the number of broker insurers has multiplied – all of them have recently become “VVG-ready”. What is needed is not lamenting about the “good old days”, but a future orientation in thinking and acting. The insurance boards will have to deal with four things even more intensively – creativity, trust, controlling and risk management! The civil servant’s picado “whoever moves has lost” will serve its purpose: Credit institutions have “richly calculated” their customers in financial planning en masse; when the stock market bubble burst, the liability cases came because no scenario technique was mastered – and because bankers know nothing about hedging risks: The financial plans were mostly built on sand for lavish fees because the basic hedging against risks was missing. What an opportunity for the insurance industry! Customers want security, but not guarantee products with caveats in the small print. The Federal Court of Justice also lambasts insurers because their terms and conditions are no longer even supposed to be understood by entrepreneurs (transparency would be called for – and the disposal of overburdened lawyers). Insurance agents have the advantage of not participating in the 6-month job rotation of bankers. The insurance industry would have the chance to turn its image upside down – customer loyalty, responsibility, continuity, qualification, competence, and thus trust. Controlling would be important, for example, in order to catch employees who are overtaxed; especially those who are incapable of providing real advice and instead resort to the irresponsible “waiver of advice” form: What a damage to the image, when the press is just waiting to nail the next insurer to the wall. Unfortunately, the insurance industry has been losing its reputation politically for years because risk management (§ 91 II of the German Stock Corporation Act) is neglected in-house, for example because of incorrect calculation results in software solutions for old-age provision. Mass damages, against which no discharge of the general meeting can help: The board members risk their “dismissal” by BaFin for lack of suitability and the loss of their own retirement benefits. Fine anti-trust proceedings can “count” on many a board of directors – here, too, it helps to look over to the bankers: West-LB recently parted company with its chairman of the board – the risk manager was allowed to accompany him at the same time. Not “VVG-Ready” is the question, but which customer will still agree with the brokerage from the insurer directly to the broker, instead of paying the broker via fee directly? A good start would be to retain customers permanently, and clean up liability cases: This includes sending the authors of (partially) ineffective sample forms to the desert – many a board needs a loyal “task force” to turn its shop around. The exciting thing about liability cases is that you always find out about them later – and training and sales managers, as well as insurance directors, should start thinking about themselves and their families for once: customer needs can help.
(expert report 11 10.2007, 1)
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Dr. Johannes Fiala has been working for more than 25 years as a lawyer and attorney with his own law firm in Munich. He is intensively involved in real estate, financial law, tax and insurance law. The numerous stages of his professional career enable him to provide his clients with comprehensive advice and to act as a lawyer in the event of disputes.
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