AXA chief calls for insurance scheme for pandemics

AXA chief calls for insurance scheme for pandemics

The CEO of AXA, the French multinational insurance company, has suggested the industry should look to create an insurance scheme to adequately cover future pandemics.

In an interview with France's Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, Thomas Buberl said one idea would be to have a pooling system involving government and private insurers.

Buberl told Le Journal du Dimanche that, for AXA: "Beyond the overall impact of the economic crisis, we are directly affected in two areas. First, that of claims related to illnesses, deaths or cancelled events."

"Second, that of our financial investments, which depreciate as today when the value of the shares is greatly reduced. But AXA is solid, our results and our balance sheet in recent years prove it. This crisis will not change this situation."

Buberl, a German citizen who became CEO of AXA in 2016, said much more should be done in terms of coordination. But he said AXA was ready to take the initiative to partner with the French government to establish an insurance scheme specifically for pandemics.

He told the Journal the lesson from the covid-19 outbreak was already clear: the world did not sufficiently prepare and there was not enough co-ordination between the state and the private sector.

Buberl added that global warming would also mean a much greater need for adequate preparation and co-ordinated responses at an international level.

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.