become The cries for help of the German life insurers were becoming more and more desperate. Nevertheless, the Federal government had hesitated for a long time, the industry again succor. After all, she had already been distributed four years ago, lavish gifts at the expense of the customer to the provider, and fierce criticism for one of the corners. Now, the insurance industry has come yet another Time. However, should this time also the customers will benefit – even if indirectly. Consumer advocates had hoped for but more.

the Federal Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, signed a regulation on the so-called additional interest reserve. This provision was introduced in 2011 to ensure that insurers can generate high guarantees to their customers also in the case of permanent low interest rates. By 2017, have come together to 60 billion euros, and in the next few years this emergency buffer should increase even more.

this, However, many German life insurers have suffered as a result of the low interest rate phase, already in distress, overwhelmed. Some of the companies, threatened even, because of the high requirements in a existential to get wrong. The scheme worked as a fire accelerant. In the future, these Capital buffers should be increased slower in order to conserve the insurance industry.

More policies than inhabitants

Over the decades, life insurance was the most popular retirement plans of the Germans. With a good 85 million contracts, there are still more policies than inhabitants. The concept was as simple as it is lucrative: The insurer guarantees a minimum rate of return that was higher than the rate of Inflation. The contributions of your customer to you again with an even higher rate of return in the markets. The difference is, they involved their customers, but deserved especially the companies themselves gorgeous.

This success story, however, is preparing the survival AIDS of the European Central Bank (ECB) since the financial crisis to an end. The low interest rates to bring the life insurers are increasingly in Need.

Because they invest their money primarily in fixed-income securities such as bonds as well as bonds issued by governments and companies. Because of the duration of low interest rates and the flight to safe assets, yields on these securities fell drastically. This makes it for the provider harder for your customers once given some very generous Pledges.

By the life insurance reform law, the government, the industry had gives, therefore, four years ago, a great relief – to the detriment of the customer. It was primarily to the valuation reserves for fixed-income securities. Of these profits, the customer is involved. But at the same time, the additional interest reserve was increasingly used as a fire accelerant.

In desperation, the silverware is sold

In desperation, the company’s silver separate, in fact, more and more old, high – interest papers, your panel in order to plug the resulting holes, at least provisionally, and sufficient safety buffer. But that exacerbated the situation in the long term only, and it is already clear who has to pay for all of this at the end: the customer. Even consumer advocates were, therefore, the strict requirements to the additional interest reserve is excessive.

criticism was with the Federal government, however, the Opposition once. Gerhard Schick (Green party) spoke of a “gift bag” for the insurance industry and criticized the lack of transparency and quick action: “With how much the lack of transparency of this Change has been pulled through, which leads to the displacement of Billions, scares me,” said Schick. “Here is the Call to the insurers, who were not quite completely unjustified, late, but then, in the opaque summary proceedings complied with.”

the CDU, CSU and SPD would have to take the insurer more accountable and fair load balancing so that the Insured would no longer be unduly burdened. Appropriate effective measures would not be expected from this government, unfortunately.

Chic and many consumer advocates had already demanded four years ago, that there is a stronger limitation of the commissions, and firmly expected that these will be agreed with a reduction in the additional interest reserve. This could prevent the industry but apparently.

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