Stock prices plummet and cautiously rise again, savings at Icesave evaporate, Lender in the hands of the state. In short a lot of unrest, but what consequences does the current credit crisis have for the insurance world?
And more importantly, what does this mean for you as a policyholder? The credit crisis will almost certainly result in an economic recession. You will notice this in your wallet. If it is up to Lender, you can save more than a hundred euros on your car insurance and health insurance in 2009.
Thanks to strict European and Dutch regulations, the insurance sector is a financially sound sector. Banks have to deal with savers who take their money away. If this happens en masse, so much money flows away that at a certain moment a bank can no longer meet its obligations.
Insurers collect the premiums, pay out if necessary and only a limited part of their assets are invested in shares. Insurers are therefore affected by the turmoil in the financial market, but to a much lesser extent than the banking sector. This offers the Dutch policyholder some certainty.
In the meantime, the government has made € 220 billion available to protect banks and insurers against the shocks caused by the current credit crisis. Dutch savers can count on a savings guarantee of € 100,000. Such a guarantee does not apply to insurance. Is that bad?
Not for non-life insurance policies such as car insurance and household insurance. After all, you pay a relatively small amount in premium (s) for a limited contract duration. If an insurer is bottled up, the financial damage for the consumer will remain manageable. It is different with a life insurance policy.
Premiums are paid for years, decades. Then the total amount can increase considerably and the damage is therefore much greater. But if an insurer goes bankrupt, such as Vie d’Or in 1995, the interests of policyholders are protected as much as possible. For example, by placing the insurance portfolio with another insurer.
How is supervision of the insurance sector arranged? What is the impact of the financial crisis on the insurance sector? Can I cancel my policy or transfer to another insurer under the same conditions?
You can find answers to these and more frequently asked questions about the consequences of the credit crisis for the insurance world on the website of the Dutch Association of Insurers.
It will not have escaped your notice that the Dutch government has taken over Lender. This makes the state the owner of Lender Bank, Lender Corporate Insurance, Lender ASR, De Merafer, Euro Vinze and Falcon Neve. If you have insurance with one of these parties and / or you want to know what the situation is after the take-over, look for a question and answer on the website of Lender Vinze Nederland.
The total mortgage debt in the Netherlands is € 1 trillion. Fortunately we do not (yet) know of any American conditions on our housing market. Nevertheless, as a direct consequence of the credit crisis, lenders and home buyers seem to prefer more security.
Compared to last year, 13% more homes were purchased with National Mortgage Guarantee (NHG), according to figures from the Land Registry and the NVM. NHG is an extra guarantee for lenders, so that they always get back the loan amount.