The current mood barometer with focus on "Sustainable Insurance" shows that sustainability has become significantly more relevant for consumers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland with regards to insurance. More than 70 percent of those surveyed expect insurance companies to promote sustainable behavior with their products. It is also clear that transparency and traceability have gained in importance.

Giso Hutschenreiter, Partner and Insurance Expert at BearingPoint

The vast majority of consumers expect insurance companies to live up to their responsibilities for sustainability and to embed aspects of sustainability more strongly in their products. Our mood barometer clearly shows this, but it also shows that customers want to know exactly how sustainability is included in the premium calculation and expect significant transparency and comprehensibility in product design. The interest in sustainable products exists, however insurers must also provide precise information and explain what this means for their customers in detail. After all, from the customer's point of view, sustainability is not a free pass to simply raise prices. Moreover, return on investment still trumps sustainability for all age groups.

Giso Hutschenreiter, Partner and Insurance Expert at BearingPoint

The most important findings at a glance:

Sustainability: High customer expectations of insurance companies

The majority of consumers are aware that insurance companies play an important role in promoting sustainability. 71 percent of Germans, 80 percent of Austrians and 81 percent of Swiss believe that insurance companies should promote sustainable behavior with their products. In this context, exactly how sustainability is implemented by insurance companies is very important to many people.

The topic of environmental protection is particularly important to consumers. When asked about the issues that are most important to them, investments in environmental protection and in sustainable projects are at the top of the list. Honesty and transparency also play a very important role for consumers.

Offer of sustainable products influences the choice of insurance

46 percent of Germans, 58 percent of Austrians and 53 percent of the Swiss believe that products with a sustainable orientation are already widely offered on the market. For around one third of Germans (34 percent), the offer of sustainable products would influence their choice of insurance, while 48 percent disagree with this statement. The situation is different in Austria and Switzerland. For 47 percent of Austrians and 46 percent of Swiss, the offer of sustainable products plays a role in their choice of insurance.

Return still more important than sustainability

When it comes to money, for many insurance customers the desire for more sustainability seems to end at a lower return. Thus, 53 percent of Germans, 49 percent of Austrians and 47 percent of Swiss say that they would not want to buy an insurance product that might promise a lower return due to its sustainable orientation.

Customers want to know how insurance companies take sustainability into account in calculating premiums

53 percent of Germans, 60 percent of Austrians and 62 percent of Swiss are in favor of insurance companies taking sustainable behavior into account when calculating premiums. In all three countries, however, 40 percent want to know exactly how insurance companies proceed in this regard and have clear ideas. Most important to them are a fair price-performance ratio, transparency, fairness, and comprehensible rating systems. Penalizing less sustainable behavior in terms of price is not the task of an insurance company, say 31 percent in Germany, 30 percent in Austria and 24 percent in Switzerland.

A good third sees a role for government in defining sustainable products

For 35 percent of Germans, 38 percent of Austrians and 33 percent of Swiss, it is the task of government regulatory bodies to define what sustainable product is, and what is not. In contrast, about 20 percent of respondents in all three countries think that this should be defined by market standards. Companies should be able to decide this on a voluntary basis, according to 10 percent of Germans, 14 percent of Austrians and 11 percent of Swiss. In general, about one in seven Germans, one in nine Austrians and one in six Swiss are against specifications for the classification of sustainable products.

 About the study

The data used is based on a survey conducted by BearingPoint via the market research institute YouGov Germany. A total of 3089 people in Germany, Austria and Switzerland took part in the online survey between June, 14th and 20th 2021. The results were weighted and are representative of the respective population aged 18 and over.

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