Polish Insurance Association has been a member of the CEA Insurers of Europe – European Association of Insurers – since 1998.

CEA is the umbrella organization of insurance associations and associations from 33 European countries. It has alrady been operating for 52 years and integrates the actions of the partners from all parts of the old continent. The primary challenge posed by the organization is to solve the problems associated with the strategic interests of European insurance companies. In particular, the regulatory environment.

CEA carries out its mission on three levels.

The first area of activity includes taking up global issues. The practice consists of representing the European insurance environment in the forum of organizations such as OECD, WTO and IAIS.

The second challenge involves developing the insurance business in the context of its impact on socio-economic structure. Within the avtivity CEA:

• promotes insurance solutions in all areas of risk
• cooperates with academic institutions and scientific and trade associations,
• promotes fundamental values and ethics of insurance.

The third, broadest part of action covers all internal issues ot the European insurance market. Within the activity CEA works to:

• provide openness and liberalization of the insurance and financial markets in Europe (the most important in this respect being the struggle for market integration and the related lobbying and a number of studies and analysis)
• raise standards in the financial market (implementation of cross-regulation and monitoring of new entrants in the market and the promotion of tax-neutral legal solutions for the insurance industry)
• develop and strengthen the institutions supervising the insurance market and developing accounting standards (promotion of coordination between supervisors and work for a modern and effective implementation of schemes for the sector),
• promote development of orderly and competetive institutional investment market,
• engage in legislative work on new areas of operation of the market (promotion of Best Practice Guides in the insurance sector and analysis of legislative alternatives)
• secure the best conditions for the expansion of the EU insurance market (to support the development of new markets and to help Member States to adapt the model law to the conditions prevailing in the EU).

On 9 October 2012, thirty one associations of insurers (including the Polish Insurance Association), representing 87 percent of the global insurance market, established the Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA).

“It is a great day for the insurance industry around the world. The Federation will give our associations the ability to respond on a timely basis to international issues affecting our industry and to speak with one voice,” said Frank Swedlove, the newly-elected GFIA Chair and President of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association. “I am honoured to have the opportunity to be the inaugural chair of our federation and will strive to ensure that our industry’s views are heard.”

Peter Braunmüller, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), welcomed the new organisation, stating: “As the global insurance standard setter, the IAIS values greatly the contributions of IAIS observers – who represent international institutions, professional associations and insurance and reinsurance companies – to the development and implementation of IAIS supervisory material. We look forward to working with the GFIA and its members as we all continue to promote effective and globally-consistent supervision of the insurance industry.”

Recaredo Arias, Secretary General of FIDES (Inter-American Federation of Insurance Companies) was elected Vice-Chairman of the new federation. The founding members of the federation also elected the Secretary of the federation, Michaela Koller, Director General of Insurance Europe. This means that Insurance Europe will undertake the significant work for GFIA that will be required to support the initiatives of the new Federation in all key areas of concern to the global insurance industry.

The GFIA will be active in commenting on a broad range of issues affecting the international insurance industry, including developments in the systemic risk debate: the work of the IAIS in developing ComFrame, i.e. the common framework for the supervision of international groups; business ethics and trade issues as well as initiatives in relation to financial inclusion and anti-money laundering.

Governor Dirk Kempthorne, President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers, who chaired the GFIA’s inaugural meeting in Washington, stated: “THIS is indeed a historic day. Regulation of the insurance industry is increasingly being set internationally. The establishment of the GFIA will allow the industry to work more closely with international regulators in the development of sound and balanced regulations.”

Based on data from Swiss Re, direct gross premiums written by insurers worldwide amounted to USD 4.5 trillion in 2011. Members of the GFIA represent insurers who collected 87% of this amount. Associations of insurers from around the world have co-operated with each other informally for many years, most recently under the formula of the International Network of Insurance Associations (INIA). A formal worldwide federation of insurers with a global reach was formed for the first time. The federation’s website is to be launched soon: www.GFIAinsurance.org.

PIU is also a member – observer of the IAIS (International Association of Insurance Supervisors) and a member of the IMIA (International Meeting of Insurers Associations).