30 November, 2016

UKAS supported the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and its Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO), to organise and host a seminar to explore the role and benefits of standards and accreditation in managing risk for the insurance industry. The workshop brought together experts from conformity assessment and insurance the industry, standards developers and business representatives to discuss issues such as extreme events and business continuity planning; reducing exposure to product liability claims; the challenges of globalised supply chains, and how technology will affect the sector.

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The session, which was moderated by Anthony Hilton, Finance Correspondent for the Independent, included speakers from INAIL, Zurich, Mitsubishi Corporation, Liberty Global, Pyrology Limited and WADA. Matt Baker, Howden Insurance Brokers, also provided an overview of the scheme that they have developed for UKAS accredited organisations, and how they use accreditation against ISO standards to evaluate risk. Michael Mainelli, UKAS non-executive, also delivered a presentation that brought out the key points from research carried out by the Z/Yen Group ‘Opportunities for Standards in Insurance’ which showed that the adoption of voluntary standards and accreditation would be particularly suitable around product development, product information and processes in insurance. 

Many of the speakers from the sector cited the benefits that they receive having adopted international standards covered by accreditation.  Mr Ono Takahiro, from the Mitsubishi Corporation Insurance, stated that the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) provide more attractive loan rate and discounted insurance premiums to commercial businesses that have accredited certification of their business continuity management system to ISO 22301 / 22313. This has helped the bank to manage its risk exposure as it has encouraged firms to build resilience and to be in better control of their risks. Matt Baker, Howden Insurance Brokers, shared their experience of setting up a scheme for UKAS-accredited organisations, where there are robust standards in pace, there is a clear process of demonstrating compliance to those standards, and there are consequences of non-compliance. This has allowed them to work with an engaged insurer to offer discounts on premium and better policy coverage. Analysis of the claims record demonstrates that standards and accreditation reduce the number of claims and therefore reduce insurer losses.

Antonio Terracina, Director of the Italian Workers' Compensation Authority, the National Governmental Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work (INAIL), reported how OHSAS 18001 had improved health and safety in the work place. INAIL provides significant discounts in premium to organisations that have accredited certification to OHSAS 18001, which has seen the number of certified organisations rise to 4,500. However, the number of accidents in the workplace has fallen significantly by 27% across the economy. Some sectors have seen significant reductions namely Construction (33%), Rock and Glass (43%) and Textiles (64%).

A short video summary of the workshop can be seen on the ISO Facebook Live page

The presentations can also be viewed on the event website. 

ISO and the accreditation community will continue to work together with the insurance sector to ensure that these benefits have a wider reach, and to ensure that the standards development process can better support how insurers manage risk.

The event also generated coverage in the Evening Standard

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