ACE Group has highlighted the growing environmental risks facing Italian businesses of all sizes at a conference organised for insurance brokers and risk managers in Milan.
According to ACE’s research, over half (55%) of Italian business leaders agree their company is at risk of potential environmental threats. However, 52% of Italian companies feel underprepared to cope with environmental risk and 29% feel completely unprepared, higher than the European average.
Over 200 delegates, representing all of Italy’s major insurance brokers and over 40 Italian and multinational companies, heard that companies from the traditional ‘polluting’ industries are no longer the only businesses at risk, and that companies in all sectors are under greater pressure to show they are taking their environmental responsibilities seriously. According to a number of speakers at the conference, regulatory and government authorities are becoming ever-more active in holding companies accountable for their liabilities and smaller enterprises are increasingly being fined – in some cases millions of euros – for environmental breaches such as air pollution and site contaminations.
In particular, the implementation of European Liability Directive (ELD), which aims to impose a harmonised liability regime across the entire European Union, has brought some important changes and new exposures for businesses and highlights the need for Italian companies to protect themselves better.
Orazio Rossi, ACE Country Manager for Italy, said:
“Across Europe, environmental risk is moving up the corporate agenda and 71% of companies in Italy believe that it is an increasingly important issue for every 21st century business – the highest proportion of any of the six European markets we researched. This research is backed up by the on-the-ground experience of our underwriters here in Italy.
“At the same time, 59% of Italian companies do not currently have a crisis management plan in place to deal with an environmental incident, which is more than in any of the other European markets we surveyed, highlighting the need for urgent action.”
Deborah Sola, Senior Environmental Underwriter, Italy, at ACE, said:
“Encouragingly for our industry, over three quarters (77%) of Italian businesses say that insurance is important to their environmental risk management strategy. However, in Italy and right across Europe, many companies are still confused about whether they are covered or not by their insurance policies and the insurance market needs to work harder to explain the solutions available. ACE’s local underwriting teams are committed to working closely with companies and their brokers to identify the environmental exposures they face and provide specific insurance cover for their needs.”
The ACE Group is one of the world’s largest multiline property and casualty insurers. With operations in 53 countries, ACE provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. ACE Limited, the parent company of the ACE Group, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (ACE) and is a component of the S&P 500 index.
ACE is one of the world’s longest-established underwriters of environmental insurance.
Notes to editors:
The research for ACE Europe was carried out in summer 2012 by Opinion Matters who spoke to 606 European Risk managers / CROs / CFOs / COOs / people responsible for buying insurance from companies with turnover of £500 million+ for the UK and their equivalent in euro zone countries. The markets researched were UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Benelux.