Legal and economic aspects of the draft for general insurance of buildings against catastrophic risks

On 12 February this year a conference was held in Warsaw, organized by the Department of Insurance Law of the Faculty of Law and Administration at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and the Polish Insurance Association, on “Legal and economic aspects of the draft for general insurance of buildings against catastrophic risks”.

The conference was opened by: Professor Eugeniusz Kowalewski, Ph.D., Head of the Insurance Law Department at WPiA, Andrzej Maciążek, Vice President of PIU and Zdzisław Śwircz, Director of the Department for Disaster Relief at the Ministry of Administration and Digitization, who read a letter from the Secretary of State Włodzimierz Karpinski, addressed to the participants of the conference.

In the first part of the conference Prof. Eugeniusz Kowalewski together with Dr. Władysław W. Mogilski from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń presented teleological and legal dilemmas associated with the choice of the model of general insurance of buildings against catastrophic risks. Then Marcin Orlicki, Ph.D, from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań raised legal and technical and insurance issues related to developing insurances of residential buildings against the results of catastrophic risks.

Later, Prof. Tadeusz Szumlicz, Ph.D, representing the Warsaw School of Economics, discussed various aspects of the social security system solutions functioning of the buildings related to the effects of natural disasters, with particular emphasis on proposals for mechanisms aimed at popularisation of this type of insurance.

In the next part of the conference, Małgorzata Serwach, Ph.D. (in spe), from the Medical University in Łódź, discussed the constitutional aspects to be taken into consideration when creating any system of mandatory insurances. Subsequently, Prof. Ewa Bagińska, Ph.D., from the University of Gdańsk touched upon the issues of public accountability to disaster victims for failing to predict or for erroneous estimate of the catastrophic risk.

Part of the conference was also devoted to comparative issues. Dr. Monika Wałachowska and Michał P. Ziemniak, MA, from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, discussed the models of the effects of catastrophic risks insurance worldwide with particular emphasis on German laws. Dr. Dariusz Fuchs from the University of Kardynał Stefan Wyszyński in Warsaw, gave a presentation on the issue of European law in relation to public aid for the victims of natural disasters.

In the last part of the conference, Marek Sawicki, Director of the Department of Insurance and Pension Funds Licenses of the FSA, presented key issues from the perspective of surveillance authority. Presentation by Piotr Lewiński, Chairman of the PIU Working Group for the development of a system of general insurance against the effects of natural disasters, touched upon the concept of residential buildings insurance against the catastrophic risks from the point of view of an insurance company.

The conference ended with a discussion, led by Prof. Eugeniusz Kowalewski, attended by representatives of both the science and the insurance market. The participants of the discussion agreed that it is necessary to develop a system solution, based on general insurances against the effects of natural disasters. Current solutions which concentrate of granting ad hoc social assistance were rated as inefficient and socially unjust. However, it was also stated that development of security systems is a complex task, which is related to many aspects of the functioning of the state. Issues such as compliance of the legal solutions with the Constitution and European Union rules, the social effectiveness, the broadly understood catastrophic risk policy management and protecting existing insurance portfolios of insurance companies should be subject to further in-depth analysis.

The conference was attended by over 120 participants, including representatives of: the Ministries of Finance, Administration and Digitization, Agriculture and Rural Development, the Government Centre for Security, the FSA, universities as well as insurance and reinsurance companies.
Conference materials are available below:

Conference materials