Firms now focusing on 'core business', says survey

More European insurers have put in place strategic run-off plans to help with the recession, a survey has found.

About 86% of the firms surveyed – 14 points more than in 2007 – told accountant Pricewaterhouse Coopers they had made a plan because the downturn was forcing them to focus on core business.

The insurers said at some stage they might have to extract value from non-core work by putting it in run-off.

Dan Schwarzmann of PricewaterhouseCoopers said: “Our research clearly shows that the advantages of proactively handling legacy and run-off business are recognised Europe-wide.

“The fact that 56% of continental European respondents regard the financial crisis and Solvency II as the most important issues facing the industry, means insurers have the impetus to proactively release the value in their run-off liabilities.”

Research for the study, Unlocking Value in Run-off, was carried out last year.