Keeping Up With The Market – July 2023

Every month, we help you keep up with the Belgian and Luxembourg insurance markets.

Mergers & acquisitions






AG and BNP Paribas Fortis are Touring’s new shareholders

This acquisition concerns Touring’s operating activities. AG holds 75% of the shares and BNP 25%.

All operating activities keep the same brand name.


Merger between NN Non-Life Insurance S.A. and Nationale-Nederlanden Schadeverzekeringen Maatschappij N.V.

Subsequent to the merger, these insurances will be carried on without modification in Belgium by NN Non-life, the Belgian branch of Nationale-Nederlanden Schadeverzekering Maatschappij N.V.

NN Group’s strategic vision is to combine all the Dutch non-life insurers in its group into a single strong insurance company. The group also wants to preserve its strong local presence through its branch in Belgium, NN Non-Life.


Axa and Doctena join forces to strengthen access to health care

Axa will add the online calendar of Doctena to its online platform MyAXA Healthcare. Thanks to this partnership, AXA extends its range of health services and provides its policyholders with access to more than 4 600 specialists.


Zurich Insurance Group joins forces with Belgian insurtech Qover, to expand its embedded insurance capabilities

Zurich Insurance entered this partnership through Zurich Global Ventures. According to Qover, this partnership will “push boundaries, providing businesses and individuals even more convenient and timely protection they need in a changing world”.



Corona Direct becomes Belfius Direct Assurances

Corona Direct gets a new name: Belfius Direct Assurances. Corona SA was fully integrated to Belfius Insurance SA and all its insurance portfolio was transferred to Belfius Insurance SA.


FSMA issues vade mecum on product oversight and governance

With this document, the FSMA sets out its recommendations and expectations regarding the supervision and governance of non-life and life insurance products on the topics of value for money and exclusions.
For more information, click here FR/NL.


Quarterly overview of Belgian public UCIs

FSMA has released its quarterly overview of Belgian public UCIs. The authority reports that the total net assets of these UCIs rose by 4.9% compared with the end of 2022, amounting to €193.5 billion. In addition, net subscriptions reached €2.2 billion.

For more information, you can access the report here.


EIOPA: quarterly risk dashboard of the EU insurance industry

EIOPA has recently published its quarterly risk assessment of the EU insurance industry. The Risk Dashboard, based on Solvency II data, summarises the main risks and vulnerabilities in the European Union’s insurance sector through a set of risk indicators.

The data is based on financial stability and prudential reporting collected from insurance groups and solo insurance undertakings.

You can read the full dashboard here.



EIOPA published a Staff Paper about the limited uptake of NatCat insurance in Europe

In this Staff Paper, EIOPA explores ‘demand-side’ barriers that can prevent consumers from buying NatCat insurance and proposes possible consumer-tested solutions to overcome these barriers.

For more information, you can read the Staff Paper here.

NatCat law: the limit under which insurers can intervene will be multiplied by 4 to reach €1.6 billion

A recent change to the NatCat law is that, from January 2024, the limit under which insurers can intervene will be multiplied by 4 to reach €1.6 billion, driven by politicians. However, this does not solve the problem of intervention when the total bill exceeds this limit, as was the case for the floods of 2021. Finally, this change in cap will lead to an increase in fire insurance premiums for policyholders.


Future public-private partnership between insurance companies and the European Union to spread the coverage of climate risks

Amélie Breitburd, CEO of Lloyd’s Europe, recently called for a public-private partnership between insurance companies and the European Union to spread the coverage of climate risks. With the increase in climate disasters, this would help to counter the lack of protection and promote solidarity between European countries, which can sometimes be affected by this risk unexpectedly.


The AAE issues a new report on Sustainable Products on Insurance

With the release of its report on Sustainable Products on Insurance, the European organization wants to make constructive proposals and contribute to the ongoing debate of sustainibility of the insurance sector. The report states constructive proposals and contribute to the ongoing debate of sustainibility of the insurance sector. The report discusses the following topics:

  • How the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) aims to improve transparency about the ESG features of investment-based insurance products.
  • What sustainability means for other insurance products, with a focus on insurance risks in Life, Health and Property & Casualty lines.
  • How sustainable solutions can be benchmarked against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • What are the key initiatives to increase transparency, through the use of a sustainable taxonomy and other non-financial reporting standards.

You can read the full report here.


Claims: insurers sanctioned for late reply

The Minister for the Economy has proposed a bill that would require insurers to respond more quickly to policyholders following a claim. If no response is received within three months, a fine of €300 will be imposed. If the policyholder has sent a reminder and has not received a response within 14 days, a fine of €300 per day of delay will appply.


The Economic Committee of the House has passed the law concerning bundled sales

In short, the conditional interest reduction is only authorised for fire insurance, debt balance insurance and surety insurance in bundled sales.

Bundled insurance policies may only be linked to the insurance company and no longer to the insurance broker.

Consumers may cancel grouped insurance policies, without losing the interest reduction, after one-third of the total term of the mortgage, and before one-third of the total term of the mortgage in the event of a rate increase (no ABEX indexation) and claim.






Appointments – July 2023

Who are the most recent appointments as directors and C-levels in the Benelux?


Frank Eijsink

Frank Eijsink new CEO International Insurance of NN Group as of 1 September 2023.

Frank has 20 years’ experience of international leadership and business insurance and finance knowledge. He has held several senior positions, including Head of Finance Strategy of NN Insurance Europe, CEO of NN Turkey, CEO of NN Life Japan and CEO of NN Life Belgium.

In his new role, Frank will be responsible for NN’s international insurance businesses in Europe.



Thom Mallant

Thom Mallant appointed CEO Allianz Nederland & Head of P&C activities Allianz Benelux.

Thom has 20 years experience at Allianz. After having occupied several management positions, in 2009, he became CEO of London Insurance and in 2014, he became General Manager P&C Branch Office. He has combined this role with that of Claims Sales Director, and from 2021, with that of Business Director. He was also involved in the Dutch Association of Insurers for several years.


Ageas logo

Jérôme Carré

Jérôme Carré appointed Director of Finance & Risk of Ageas Re.

Jérôme brings over three decades of industry experience towards his new role. He has previous experience as Chief Actuary at AXA Re and Chief Risk Officer at Paris Re.



Arnaud Le Boulengé

Arnaud Le Boulengé appointed Director Corporate Underwriting of Ageas Re.

He will be responsible for underwriting quality, best practices, portfolio steering and accumulation control. He was previously General Manager of the Belgian Branch at SiriusPoint.




Jacques de Vaucleroy

Jacques de Vaucleroy to be appointed to the presidency of Swiss Re.

The Belgian was submitted as a candidate for the position of Chairman of the reinsurance group by the Governance and Nominations Committee. Until now, he has held the position on an interim basis, following Sergio Ermotti’s departure. His application will be reviewed by shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting in April 2024.

Jacques has over 25 years’ experience with ING in banking, asset management and insurance. From 2006 to 2009, he was a member of the Group’s Management Board. He then joined Axa to head up the Northern, Central and Eastern Europe division. In 2017, he joined Swiss Re.





The artificial intelligence breakthrough in the insurance sector

The artificial intelligence breakthrough in the insurance sector


According to the International Data Corporation, the spending on artificial intelligence will surpass $300 billion in 2026. According to McKinsey, the use of AI will boost productivity and reduce operating costs by 40% by 2030.

Whilst the use of artificial intelligence technologies offers many advantages for insurance companies, the risks associated with them are equally significant, and managing them is essential to ensure that AI is used to best effect and becomes a major breakthrough.

Benefits of artificial intelligence

Pricing and reserving

Thanks to its ability to gather and process a large amount of data, artificial intelligence and its developments are helping to improve pricing methods.

With the implementation of Machine Learning in the insurance industry, the accuracy of data processing used to determine insurance policies has been enhanced, by collecting a vast amount of data, both internal and external, and automating its processing. This tool is already widely used for pricing non-life insurance products and is nothing new to the sector.

The development of AI does, however, give insurers access to data from multiple sources. As a result, the pricing and development of new tailor-made insurance products, or even micro-coverages adapted to specific needs, are positive aspects of the advance of AI in the sector. By using a wide range of data, individual risk can be better predicted and policies can be more accurately priced by increasing the number of parameters taken into account in the models. These insurances, particularly in the car sector, will adapt to the behaviour and activities of policyholders thanks to more detailed data analysis, for example through behavioural dynamic modelling.

Artificial intelligence will connect the insurer and the policyholder in real-time, resulting in the development of a new business model: insurance policies priced, purchased and linked in real-time.

In addition, the development of artificial intelligence techniques also helps to better study the development of portfolio claims, thereby identifying and modelling claims that develop over a longer period and have an impact on the reserving strategy. These techniques can also be used to determine which claims will cost the most quickly. These advances mean that the models used are increasingly accurate, since they take into account the characteristics of claims, resulting in better modelling of the severity component of pricing because the projection of future amounts to be paid is more precise.


Prediction and claims management

In addition to underwriting, the AI breakthrough can significantly contribute to claims prediction and management.

The Machine Learning models developed for claims volume forecasting are already implemented in the current methodology. However, the use of AI could allow almost complete automation of the management process. Indeed, claims analysis could be accelerated, particularly in car insurance, using Deep Learning and damage processing based on images from a smartphone or visual recognition, in addition to the insurer’s historical data.

The algorithms powered by this data can be used to predict and prevent claims, since they will be optimised to detect which policyholders are likely to make a claim and forecast events which could cause claims to be made.

Moreover, AI would facilitate rapid and instant processing of claims handling, compensation and reporting. This would reduce the financial burden on insurance companies and boost customer satisfaction and retention. A concrete example is the case of the American insurtech Lemonade, which is believed to have made the fastest claim settlement in history: in 3 seconds.

Combining artificial intelligence with the volume of data available to insurers could also improve the assessment of other damages at different levels. More specifically, the amount of compensation and the degree of disability for certain types of injury or, on the contrary, the analysis of the reasons for rejecting a claim under health or disability insurance could be simplified.


“AI would facilitate rapid and instant processing of claims handling, compensation and reporting.”


Fraud dectection

The use of AI to detect insurance fraud is an increasingly common practice in the industry. Indeed, one very specific case involves the analysis of claims using sophisticated algorithms to identify potential fraud.

These algorithms can investigate trends and abnormal patterns to detect fraudulent behaviour. These tools include text analysis, which identifies contradictory or inconsistent information in claims. Image analysis identifies changes made to pictures sent to the insurance company to show the damage when a claim is opened. Finally, behavioural pattern analysis can identify unusual or suspicious customer behaviour and can even detect abnormal behaviour from distribution networks.

However, the use of AI to detect insurance fraud raises major issues, such as biased or incomplete data, which can lead to errors in detection, and the issue of confidentiality and protection of customer data. These problems are still being studied in the academic world and improvements are being made.


Its limits for the sector and the actuarial profession

In spite of the non-exhaustive list of benefits described above, the use of artificial intelligence in the sector raises fears and entails risks that we need to be aware of and prepared for.

Compliance and ethical issues

In particular, the use of generative technologies raises compliance and ethical issues, as some of them are based on probabilistic models that are not designed to comply with strict policies. In addition, these technologies collect data to continually refine themselves, which makes it difficult to remove data and information from their knowledge base.


“It is therefore necessary to take the time to understand these systems, which are very often described as “black boxes”. Openng these “black boxes” is possible, but this requires the appropriate specific skills.”


Furthermore, because these technologies predict relevant responses based on observation and replication of what they have been trained on, they can be biased, which can be difficult and costly to correct for the user who is not prepared to deal with this bias. Indeed, in order to detect these biases, it would be necessary to carry out tests to identify these defects in the data set.

However, the use of AI and its consequences are subject to the programmer or user behind the technology, who may also be biased. It is therefore necessary to take the time to understand these systems, which are very often described as “black boxes”. Opening these “black boxes” is possible, but this requires the appropriate specific skills.


The actuarial intuition

When it comes to actuarial intuition, artificial intelligence will not be able to act as a substitute for all the risks impacting the market.  In particular, there are special risks (earthquakes, political risks, etc.) for which little historical data exists and which will always require the expertise of the actuary. In these cases, assessing the risk depends not only on the estimate of the final loss, but also on other factors, such as the buy-back of reinsurance or the company’s solvency requirements, which AI cannot take into account at this stage.

However, AI can in some cases provide new insights to help actuaries make the right decisions. The combination of AI and intuition is therefore key and can be a major help for the actuarial profession.


The interpretation of results 

Beyond these special risks, interpreting the results generated by Deep Learning and Machine Learning models involves a different kind of thinking that implies a knowledge of the business approach that only an actuary familiar with the business can have. Actuaries have the power to contextualize results and explain what they mean by establishing a link with the company’s business and how these results feed into other results.


The sector’s adaptation to the use of artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence and its many developments are not unknown to the market. Indeed, insurtechs have been pioneers in the use of artificial intelligence since their emergence in the mid-2010s. Over the last few years, insurtechs have become increasingly prominent in the sector because they are prepared to change traditional methods by adopting AI. In particular, Capgemini identifies three types of insurtech in the market: full carriers, which develop new innovative insurance products and distribute them (Alan, Luko, Qover), distributors, and enablers such as Akur8, which provide technological solutions to traditional insurance companies. Insurers will evolve with this changing environment by working more closely with these insurtechs as part of a wider ecosystem and fulfilling new roles within it as directors and providers of “active” insurance products.

In terms of European regulations, the European Union is currently considering a draft regulation known as the AI Act, which would come into force by 2025. Indeed, the law contains an initial requirement for the documentation and assessment of artificial intelligence applications, particularly in the case of life and health insurance, which are defined by the EU as high-risk cases. However, the introduction of the AI Act will have an impact on actuaries and their work. In the future, when selecting statistical models for calculating underwriting risks, classification according to the AI Act will also have to be taken into account and documented.

Broadly speaking, the development of AI is leading to a transformation of the actuarial profession and a move towards hybrid processes. Showing interest in new technologies and new languages (R, Python) are skills that are increasingly sought after in the profession, and this is not surprising as actuaries will always have a key role in analysing data and interpreting it, all in an environment subject to strict regulatory constraints. Actuaries will also have a key role in persuading management of the relevance of the models used and the results produced. This development will also require greater collaboration between traditional actuarial profiles and data science-oriented profiles.


“The development of AI is leading to a transformation of the actuarial profession and a move towards hybrid processes.”


Therefore, the fear of a decrease in demand for actuarial profiles is not yet likely. Actuaries will continue to be crucial to the development of AI within insurance companies. They will be essential in assessing risk, using statistical models to inform the development of AI, validating model, assessing the fairness and accuracy of AI algorithms, and ensuring that AI systems comply with regulations and that they are used ethically. As AI develops, actuaries will be able to develop by adopting the fundamentals of data science, a skill increasingly sought after by insurance companies.



As discussed above, the development of artificial intelligence and its specific features can bring considerable benefits in an increasingly competitive market. All in all, it allows insurers to reduce costs in a number of areas and to be more competitive in the market by offering products that are aligned with policyholders’ needs.

Artificial intelligence is currently transforming the actuarial profession. Consequently, adapting to these technologies and understanding their impact on improving the profession is a challenge that actuaries are facing and will continue to face in the coming months.

Finally, an advantage that we might not think of when we talk about AI is that it will enable us to focus more on the human aspect. Thanks to the automation of calculation and administrative tasks, actuaries will have more time to devote to higher added-value activities, to which artificial intelligence will provide new information that will help the actuary to make decisions.





Keeping Up With The Market – June 2023

Every month, we help you keep up with the Belgian and Luxembourg insurance markets.



Figures: travel assistance insurance

As summer fast approaches, travel assistance insurance is on everyone’s pre-departure checklist! Assuralia has conducted a survey among its members about this insurance on the market. The results show that, last summer, more than 100,000 claims were settled and 300,000 telephone calls were made to insurers.

Breakdown of the files by location

To know more about Assuralia’s survey, click here.


OPC 2022 results

In the last quarter of 2022, the net assets of funds marketed in Belgium reached 241.9 billion euros, an increase of 2.6% compared with the previous quarter but a decrease of 12.2% compared to 2021 due to price falls in the underlying assets.

More specifically, assets in funds such as mixed funds and equity funds rose by 3.1% over the last quarter. Assets in fixed-income funds rose by 0.8%.

Here is a chart showing changes in the assets of funds marketed over the last ten years:

Cijfers ICB 2

You can read the full article on fund assets in the Belgium market here.


Family Liability insurance comparator

The FSMA has recently launched a Family Liability insurance comparator. This comparator includes data from ten insurance companies offering this type of policy.

The data transmission procedures are regulated by a protocol between the FSMA and Assuralia.


Gold medal for AG

AG Insurance has received a gold medal for its sustainable efforts. The internationally renowned EcoVadis rating agency placed AG Insurance in the top 5% of companies worldwide in terms of sustainable and socially responsible business practices.

One of the reasons for this award is that AG has put people at the heart of its strategy by integrating diversity, equality and inclusion into its activities and by launching the AG College. The environment is also at the heart of its strategy with its 880 solar panels, its renovation project for 2027 and its 100% green company cars for 2026.

Insurance Ombudsman report

The Insurance Ombudsman recently published its annual report. The report describes trends in requests for intervention, particularly with regard to insurance companies and brokers.

With its report, the Ombudsman highlights the fact that some policyholders are no longer able to take out insurance because of the economic crisis, and that some risks cannot be covered by insurers, as most of them are unwilling to insure them.

The report also reveals that claims processing takes an abnormally long time, highlighting the need to boost the attractiveness of the insurance professions in order to increase recruitment.

In total, the number of interventions across all lines of business increased by 8% in 2022. To find out more about these interventions, you can read the report here.


NBB: Financial Stability Report

In June, the National Bank published its annual report on the financial stability of our market institutions. With this report, the regulator wishes to formulate a number of recommendations for financial institutions in an economic environment characterized by a tightening of monetary policy, a change in the credit and real estate cycles and problems that have affected the American and Swiss banking sectors in recent months.

One of the NBB’s main recommendations for the insurance sector is that the federal and regional authorities put in place a statutory framework in response to the consequences for the sector of the floods in the summer of 2021.

To find out more, you can read the report here.


AG launches Go4Impact

Go4Impact is an online tool that enables brokers to calculate in detail the carbon footprint of their activities and reduce it through actions tailored to their office. The tool is designed to meet the sustainability challenges faced by businesses and to support the 4,000 brokers in AG’s network.

Based on a questionnaire, the tool calculates the total CO2 emissions of brokers’ activities and proposes concrete targeted actions to make their activities more sustainable.

AG provides brokers who implement these actions with a logo to promote their initiatives.


Results of the CBC survey about Belgians and their insurance

The bancassurer CBC has released the results of its “Belgians and their insurance” survey. The first observation of the CBC survey is that 85% of policyholders feel well-insured. However, 37% of policyholders do not know exactly what their insurance covers, and 56% do not regularly review their insurance contracts.

Regarding products, home insurance is the most important product for 85% of policyholders, followed by hospital insurance (75%). Life insurance attracts only 15% of Belgians.

Concerning the digitalisation of the sector, 77% of policyholders are satisfied with it, but 66% of them still want to keep a personalised contact. Furthermore, only one policyholder in 4 has ever taken out insurance online or reported a claim digitally.


Ethias launches electric car leasing business

Like other insurers (Société Générale and ALD), Ethias is starting to lease vehicles, but 100% electrically. With this business, Ethias hopes to help companies adapt to the transition to electric vehicles and the tax change that will take place from 1 July.

The offer, aimed at companies and local authorities, provides a complete package: car, home recharging point, recharging card, support, insurance and assistance. In addition, the leasing period will be 6 years, which means lower monthly payments and a more optimised Total Cost of Use. By 2027, the insurer is aiming to have a total fleet of 8,000 cars.


Assuralia calling for a legal framework for victims of natural disasters

Assuralia recently published an official statement addressing the importance of establishing a clear legal framework for compensating victims of natural disasters on the market. Together with other insurers, a constructive solution has been formulated.

The solution concerns fire insurance for homes and small businesses. It should be added that victims of natural disasters would be reimbursed by a public-private partnership, as was the case for the floods in July 2021.

According to Assuralia, this cooperation would allow insurers to reinsure the risk at an affordable price for the policyholder, without negatively impacting the company’s solvency.

On top of that, a prevention policy needs to be introduced. The government is currently in discussion with insurers on this subject.


Workers’ compensation: new political decisions

As we informed you last month, Minister Frank Vandenbroucke is seeking to impose more strict controls on refusals of compensation for work accidents.

He recently suggested that Fedris should check files rejected by insurers. If Fedris decides that the insurer’s refusal is unjustified and that the insurer does not reconsider its decision, the Ministre invites Fedris to initiate legal action.

Finally, the victim of a work accident must always be informed when his·her employer makes a work accident declaration.




Appointments – June 2023

Who are the most recent appointments as directors and C-levels in Belux? 



Sabine Wuiame

Sabine Wuiame has been appointed Advisor to the CEO of Axa Belgium and CEO of Axa Holdings Belgium, succeeding Stéphane Slits. After graduating in Actuarial Science, Sabine has held several management positions at PwC, at Assuralia as Risk & Finance Director and at Belfius Insurance as Chief Risk Officer.  From 2011 to 2016, Sabine was a member of the Board of Directors of Swiss Life France.  She then joined Axa as CRO until 2020, before becoming CFO. During this period, she was responsible for implementing IFRS 17, strengthening reporting and preparing the 2026 strategic plan.

As Advisor to the CEO, Sabine will be responsible for strategic missions in Belgium and internationally as part of the implementation of the 2026 strategic plan.



Antoine Boyer de la Giroday

Antoine Boyer de la Giroday appointed Chief Financial Officer, succeeding Sabine Wuiame.

Holding a double degree in Physics and Civil Engineering, Antoine began his career with McKinsey & Company, where he completed various insurance assignments over a period of 4 years. In 2015, he joined Axa and worked in the Finance and Life Business Unit teams. Five years later, he became Head of Group Management Control. Since 2022, he has been Chief Life & Health Officer of Axa Belgium.

He also joins the Board of Directors of Axa Belgium.


Ann Brands

Ann Brands appointed Chief Officer Retail.

Graduated in Actuarial Science, Ann was Chief Operations Officer and has been a member of the Board of Directors and the Management Committee since 2016. As Chief Officer Retail, Ann will be responsible for the Family & Protection (banking and non-life insurance), Housing and Digital segments.