Summary: QBE's Premiums4Good programme, now extended to Asia, is an example of how money can be put to work creating positive impact whilst earning a fair return.
Why this is important: Insurance companies can create impact by choosing not to underwrite projects that could adversely impact the transition, invest in impactful projects that generate a return or by reducing their own underwriting risk by directing capital to projects mitigating the harmful effects of climate change.
The big theme: The finance industry can play an important role in the transition through its funding and investing activities. Insurance companies can play a triple role through their choice of projects to underwrite, their choice of investments and activities in the sustainability space that ultimately reduce the risk they are underwriting.
Summary of a story from Asiaone:
QBE Asia has extended the Premiums4Good programme (originally launched in selected regions in 2015) to the Asia Pacific region. At no extra cost to the customer, a proportion of their premiums are invested in projects that create social and environmental impact whilst making a financial return. Chief Underwriting Officer for QBE Asia commented that "Premiums4Good demonstrates … how social value can integrate perfectly with business value to deliver both attractive risk-adjusted returns and positive social and environmental impact."
As of 31 December 2021, QBE has invested US$1.4 billion through the Premiums4Good programme with a target of investing US$2 billion by 2025. An example of such an investment is in the Asian Development Bank’s Gender Thematic Bond allowing communities to fund social protection and health programmes to support prevention and response to gender-based violence.
Let's take a look at why this is important...