Ukraine war claims will ‘present challenges’, says AGCS

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) said claims related to the war in Ukraine will present challenges for the insurance industry, and explained it is currently handling a few that pre-date the invasion that are proving difficult because of sanctions.

The unit’s chief claims officer Thomas Sepp said war-related claims will “certainly present some challenges”.

On-site loss adjustment is “essentially impossible” in a war-torn country because experts cannot be sent in for safety reasons, he said.

AGCS and others insurers are therefore relying on publicly available satellite imagery, photos and videos, as well as information provided by the customer and its local staff, to assess claims on a preliminary basis, he continued.

“However, we can assume that the settlement of claims from a war that will last at least for months, if not longer, will raise some new questions for the insurance industry,” said Sepp.

The claims officer said AGCS is still handling a few hundred Russia-related claims from before the war broke out. Many of these are from international insurance programmes held by global companies with local assets and business ventures in Russia.

Sepp said AGCS is “fully committed” to honour its contractual obligations but is prohibited from making payments where sanctions against individuals, financial institutions or businesses have come into effect.

This is the case for a small number of AGCS claims at the moment, said Sepp.

“Together with our legal and compliance experts, the claims team is on high alert and we are taking all necessary measures to implement and comply with the specific sanctions, as well as other relevant legal changes,” he added.

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