A mix of the economic crisis, regulatory changes, international political instability and natural catastrophes has highlighted the increasing risk exposure of Spanish companies who transport goods, experts have said.
A Brazilian-based risk consultancy has opened operations in Portugal in an attempt to carve out an opening in the European risk management market and beyond.
Spanish companies can now be condemned for crimes committed by their employees, after the introduction of the country’s new penal code.
Insurance premiums were down in Spain last year, as the industry suffered from a tough economic downturn. According to the latest data released by UNESPA, Spain’s insurance association, premiums collected by insurance companies in the country fell 3.8% in 2010, reaching €57.47bn.
Despite a tough period for both the Spanish and Portuguese economies and plenty of losses in the Latin American market to which both remain closely linked, the Iberian primary market continued to soften last year and there was plenty of reinsurance capacity for insurers to play with, according to the brokers.
The latest offer of a ‘permanent ceasefire’ from ETA, the Basque separatist group, has been greeted with scepticism by Spanish companies, as the terrorists have not explicitly committed themselves to put an end to activities that target businesses in the Basque Country.
Spanish companies might have their option to buy civil liability protection for managers restricted as the new Insurance Contract Act, which is currently being drafted by the Spanish Parliament, could forbid insurers to include coverage for monetary sanctions imposed on executives for penal and administrative reasons in their policies.
There is a sharp focus on risk management in both the Spanish and Portuguese economies as they struggle to pull themselves out of recession. The Madrid Risk Frontiers roundtable found a group of Spanish and Portugese risk managers eager to grasp the opportunity and challenge of turning this interest into true ERM action.
Spanish risk managers have been warned that the soft insurance market is coming to an end, although it is unlikely that dramatic price revisions will take place next year in most business lines.
Large Spanish insurance buyers have expressed their support of the Solvency II directive, but have also warned legislators to avoid creating an excessively bureaucratic burden for insurers and to guarantee that the regime will not hamper competition in the insurance market.