Keeping Up With The Market – December 2022

Every month, we help you keep up with the Belgian insurance market.

  1. Acquisition
  2. Partnerships
  3. Products
  4. Market
  5. Legislation



Ageas sells its French subsidiary

Ageas has put its French subsidiary up for sale for 200 million euros. In mid-December, the Belgian insurer was expecting up to 10 bids. Among the candidates are the French insurers Société Générale Assurances and Albingia.

For the future successful buyer of Ageas France, Ageas Patrimoine, the platform for the distribution of savings products via asset management advisors (AMAs), as well as the Sicavonline brand, a pioneer in the sale of funds on the Internet, are real assets



Pilot project between Baloise and its subsidiary B-Tonic

Larger companies with workers’ compensation insurance from Baloise can choose to convert their profit-sharing into B-Tonic wellbeing solutions for their staff.

This project promotes sustainable wellbeing policies in companies. As the specific needs and priorities regarding wellbeing are unique for each company, B-Tonic carried out an analysis to find out what the main needs are. These include: easy access to drinking water, quiet spaces, special attention to ergonomic aspects, reintegration policies and structural initiatives.

For more information on trends in wellbeing at work, you can read the report here.



Partnership between AG and Doktr

Digital consultations will now be more accessible thanks to the collaboration between AG and Doktr, the teleconsultation application.

This partnership between two Belgian companies aims to create an ecosystem that supports the specific Belgian care model and prepares it for a hybrid physical and digital consultation future.

The application is scheduled to be rolled out in 2023 to AG’s group health insurance clients.



Automated claims reporting for Axa

Another step towards digitalization for the insurer AXA that deploys its eclaims system to home insurance. At first, only brokers will have access to this tool. It will be available for customers from April 2023.

This tool facilitates the management of a claim since the customer can directly declare the claim by entering all the necessary data and documents. A video call with an expert is also available. The amount of compensation, as well as any franchise, is calculated automatically.



Fire insurance premiums to rise by 10,8%

Here is another consequence of inflation in Belgium: fire insurance will rise by 10,8% in 2023.

As a matter of fact, 98% of insurance compagnies calculate the price of premiums based on the Abex index. The latter found an increase in the price of construction materials of 10,8%, compared to 5,6% last year. Therefore, fire insurance premiums will increase too.


Ageas and its Impact 24 investment plan

As part of its Impact 24 strategic plan to better invest its assets to reduce carbon emissions, Ageas has decided to join the UN-convened Net Zero Owner Alliance and is the first Belgian asset owner to do so.

The initiative is composed of and led by insurers, pension funds and foundations committed to moving their investment portfolios towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

With regard to the carbon intensity of its investment portfolio, Ageas has set an initial intermediate target of a 50% reduction in net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. In addition, Ageas wants to invest 5 billion for the climate and drive the Group towards sustainability.


Study on the costs of investment funds

Investment funds, which are very popular in Belgium, have been the subject of a study by the FSMA.

Concerning key figures of investment funds, the net assets of these funds amount to €183 billion, a decrease of 13,9% compared to 2021. While pension funds remained stable (114 million), mixed funds decreased to €83 million. It is also noticeable that investors are increasingly investing in sustainable funds. In fact, net subscriptions to this type of fund amounted to €213 million.

The FSMA has also published some figures on the fees associated with these funds, which are a source of concern for investors.

The average entry fee is 2,2% and the average current fee is 1,1%. These figures, available here, provide the information necessary for investors to better understand these fees.


Overview of the IORPs

Other figures published by the FSMA concern the 2021 overview of the Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision.

Key figures are:

  • 169 IORPs are subject to reporting obligation, 15 less than in 2020.
  • The total balance sheet amounts to €47,1 billion, an increase of 9% compared to 2020. This increase is due to the good performance of financial markets and to an increase in cross-border activities.
  • Three quarters of the assets have been invested in equity and bond funds.
  • The average coverage rate is 124%.

You can find more detailed information on the overview here.


AXA Belgium: the digital champion in non-life insurance

Sia Partners has established a ranking of the digital trajectory of 15 Belgian insurers and AXA is number 1 in non-life.

The rest of the ranking is as follows:

  1. KBC
  2. Belfius
  3. Ethias
  4. Corona Direct
  5. Yuzzu
  6. AG
  7. Allianz
  8. Federale Assurance
  9. Baloise

Overall the Belgian insurance sector scored 11,15 out of 20.


Reminder from the FSMA about customer requirements and needs

The needs analysis when concluding an insurance contract still raise questions from insurance distributors. This is why the FSMA has decided to recall the main lines of this rule of conduct, by formulating them as questions and answers.

More information on those explanations here.


Stress test conducted on European pension funds

EIOPA has conducted a stress test on the resilience of the European pension fund sector to a climate change scenario. The stress test was developed by the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) in close cooperation with the European Central Bank. Belgian pension funds took part in this test.

The scenario was applied both to the balance sheet figures drawn up according to the National Balance Sheet (NBS) and to the so-called Common Balance Sheet (CBS). The results of this stress test for Belgium are positive for both schemes mentioned above. Indeed, the Belgian pension fund sector was resilient on average, even when confronted with a simulation of tense economic circumstances. This result is mainly due to the large margins retained by the pension funds concerned and/or the presence of strong sponsors.

Belgium is one of the countries that manage to maintain full coverage of their obligations in the stress test scenario.



EU regulation : Digital Operational Resilience Act

The European Union launches a new regulation aimed at strengthening the IT security of financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies and investment firms and enabling them to operate in the event of major disruptions.

Whilst EIOPA will further refine this regulation on the basis of its “technical standards”, insurance companies will therefore have to adapt their IT framework, before the regulation comes into effect in the first semester of 2023. The new regulation will have a 2-year implementation period and will be fully applicable in 2025.





Assuropolis, Le secteur belge des fonds de pension résiste, même confronté à un scénario climatique défavorable dans un stress test

Assuropolis, Baloise et B-Tonic lancent un projet pilote unique pour promouvoir des politiques de bien-être durables dans les entreprises

Les Echos, Société Générale et Eurazeo sur les rangs pour racheter l’assureur Ageas France

Assuropolis, Plusieurs candidats pour Ageas France

Assuropolis, AG et Doktr s’associent pour soutenir l’accessibilité aux téléconsultations

Assuropolis, FSMA : exigences et besoins du client

Assuropolis, AXA Belgium est le champion du numérique en assurance non-vie

L’Echo, Axa automatise son assurance habitation

Assuropolis, Institutions de retraite professionnelle : aperçu 2021

Assuropolis, L’actif net total des fonds d’investissement belges s’élevait à près de 183 milliards d’euros à la fin du 3e trimestre de l’année 2022

Assuropolis, Étude de la FSMA sur les coûts liés aux investissements en fonds

Assuropolis, Ageas accélère la transition vers des émissions de carbone nettes nulles dans son portefeuille d’investissement

Assuropolis, Les grands défis de la résilience opérationnelle numérique pour les assureurs

Assuropolis, Les primes d’assurance-incendie augmenteront de 10,8 % en 2023