Versicherungsenglisch für Versicherungsvermittler

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Die Wirtschaftswelt rückt immer näher zusammen und Englisch ist die Lingua franca des heutigen Business. Auch Versicherungsvermittler stehen häufig vor der Herausforderung, Englisch sprechen zu müssen.

Die Gelegenheiten beziehungsweise Verlegenheiten für Versicherungsvermittler, ihre Englischkenntnisse anzuwenden, können unterschiedlich sein: Versetzungen an einen Standort im Ausland, Firmenkunden, die ins Ausland exportieren oder dort Tochtergesellschaften unterhalten, englischsprachige Expats, die Versicherungsschutz suchen. Eine Serie von Beiträgen auf versicherungsmagazin.de erläutert Grundbegriffe der Assekuranz in Fragen und Antworten auf Englisch. Der zweiteTeil beschäftigt sich mit der Struktur des Versicherungsmarktes in Deutschland und bietet einen ersten Überblick über einzelne Versicherungsprodukte.

1. Breakdown/ Segmentation of insurance activities in Germany

How can we subdivide insurance activities in Germany?

Social insurance (provides benefits)/National insurance:

  1. nationally organized
  2. carriers: state entities/ federal institutions
  3. principle of solidarity
  4. relates to jobs subject to social insurance contributions

Individual insurance

  1. Insurance transacted by private insurers: public limited company (plc), joint stock companies, mutuals
  2. principle of equivalence, cost-of-service principle

2. Classification of individual insurance (industry) – Classes of insurance

How can we classify the products of individual insurance?

 Benefit insurance

  1. Life
  2. Health/ Medical
  3. Personal accident (PA)
  4. Occupational disablement

 Indemnity insurance

  1. Household contents and residential buildings
  2. General third party liability
  3. Legal expenses
  4. Motor/ Car/
  5. Business/ Corporate
  6. Marine (cargo, hull, shipowner’s liability..)
  7. Engineering [Machinery, Electronic equipment, Contractors All Risks (CAR), Erection All Risks (EAR)]
  8. Credit

Benefit policy: An insurance cover (GB)/ insurance policy (US) that prescribes the sum payable on the happening of the event insured against, insurance for a specified amount, insurance on a fixed-sum basis, stated benefit insurance. "Medical expenses" and other cost items, for which the insured has to submit the original invoice, are classified as "Indemnity insurance".
Indemnity policy: Non-life insurance/ insurance against loss or damage where the sum payable depends on calculation of the insured’s loss. 

Increasing customer orientation differentiates between private and commercial clients, or Retail-business and Commercial business.

3. The insurance contract

How to take out a policy/ arrange insurance? How to conclude a contract?

An insurance agent or broker can advise a prospective client on how much cover they will need and can tell them how much the insurance premium/ insurance contribution will be. If a prospective client wants to take out a policy, the agent or broker may fill in a proposal form, a questionnaire, or ask some questions online.

What types of questions will the proposer have to answer?

  1. "Have you notified any previous claims in the last four years?"
  2. "Has any insurer refused a proposal or declined to continue insurance or imposed special premium rates or conditions?"
  3. "When is your existing policy due for renewal?"

Answering such questions to the best of their knowledge, in utmost good faith, is a pre-contractual duty according to § 19 VVG (German Insurance Contract Act 2008).

What should a proposer/ applicant or a policyholder/ the insured (party) observe after having submitted their proposal?

They should not aggravate/ increase the risk insured without prior consent of the insurer (§ 23 VVG).

What should a policyholder do in the event of damage/ loss?

  1. The policyholder shall notify the insurer’s claims department of the occurrence of the loss (§ 30 VVG) and may have to complete a claim form/ claims report.
  2. They should try to minimise/ mitigate their loss (§ 82 VVG – applies to indemnity insurance; regarding claimants in liability cases cp. § 254 BGB).
  3. They should give all the information necessary to examine/ investigate the case/ claim or the extent of the insurer’s liability (§ 31 VVG).

The policyholder’s information is checked against answers given at the proposal stage.

4. Expectations of customers

What do private customers expect from their insurers?       

  1. Has the insurer a good reputation? Is it trustworthy?
  2. Are our agents well-trained, competent and near to their customers?
  3. Are our products transparent and comprehensive?
  4. Are our premiums competitive?
  5. Can our policies easily be adjusted to new situations?
  6. Is our claims procedure fast and uncomplicated?

Which are the most important elements of value in commercial insurance, especially if you think of customer loyalty to insurers?   

  1. product quality,
  2. expertise in the customer’s business and
  3. responsiveness

Glossary

benefits = Leistungen
benefit insurance = Summenversicherung
indemnity insurance = Schadenversicherung
customer loyalty = Kundenbindung
responsiveness = Reaktionsfähigkeit

The author

After many years working in the insurance business (mainly in the non-life sector) and being involved in various teaching activities and projects dealing with textbooks, Dieter Aigner has gathered additional experience as an English trainer on behalf of BWV Rhein-Main since 2009.

Dieter Aigner

Autor(en): Dieter Aigner

Zum Themenspecial "Versicherungsenglisch"

 

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