A focus on sustainability within the insurance industry as it responds to the pandemic

21st July 2020

With nations forced into lockdown over the past few months, satellite imagery has revealed significant improvement in air and waste quality as people spend more time at home, cars stay on drives, and planes remain grounded. But the crisis could also prove to be a much-needed facilitator for action on improving sustainability credentials within the insurance industry.

The United Nations has urged governments to pursue green recoveries following the coronavirus pandemic.  It has been described by many in the insurance industry as an opportunity for all to focus on how they improve their sustainable credentials.

Sustainability in insurance

The insurance industry has made progress in developing products and implementing processes to help create a more sustainable future, 20 years ago it just wasn’t on the agenda.

Insurance Services Account Manager at Plastic Surgeon – Lauren Robson comments:

“The industry has been continually developing new processes, equipment and technologies to further improve its approach and to look at and where we’ve come is extraordinary.

“Previously Insurers would just strip out and replace damaged fixtures and fittings within the home, now, we’re happy to report many are realising the benefits of a restoration over replacement strategy which not only improves their sustainable practices but drives down costs”.

Plastic Surgeon started in business 24 years ago, but over the past five years our work in the insurance industry has grown massively and it is now our fastest growing division.

A recent article in Post Magazine by Simon McGinn, general manager of Allianz echoed the focus of the industry:

“The insurance industry is alive to the use of green repairs within its claims process. which represent more sustainable options that benefit the planet without any detriment to the policyholder.

“In fact, processes that focus on repair rather than replacement can be more cost-effective and accelerate an insurer’s ability to settle a claim. This benefits all parties”.

More can be done

Although the industry is getting better, many in particularly busy times such as a weather surge, are still adopting a replacement first approach, resulting in millions of tonnes of needless landfill every year.

At Plastic Surgeon we strongly believe that by changing the approach to – ‘repair first, replace last’ would have a huge influence on lessening our impact on the environment.  Lauren continues:

“There is work to be done, adapting and changing claims processes and the like to ensure that at all times the repair first message is prevalent, but by working in collaboration with insurers we can assist in this education and implementation”.

Lessons to be learnt

There are many lessons to be learnt from the past few months, but a positive result is that it has noticeably curbed the contribution to climate change.  What must be a priority now is that we work together and continue with the effort required to consider repair as a viable alternative to replacement.

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