Swiss Re hosts Geneva Association's liability conference to promote liability insurance in China

Swiss Re hosted the Geneva Association's first liability conference outside of Europe in Beijing on 17 June 2011. The theme of the event was "Exploring Environmental Liability within China: An Open Flank for Insurers and their Clients?"

Organizing committee

The organizing committee of the conference included Munich Re, SCOR, Swiss Re, Zurich Financial Services and China Re. Swiss Re organized the event and thus acted as its main sponsor.

The China conference is a direct outgrowth of the Geneva Association's traditional series of International Liability Conferences, held in Europe for the past seven years. It illustrates the rising importance of a broad industry dialogue on liability issues resulting from the developing Chinese market.

Aim of the event

The event met with substantial interest. More than 60 re/insurance professionals from across China and other countries attended the conference. Robert Wiest, Managing Director of Swiss Re China, Walter Stahel, Vice Secretary General of The Geneva Association and Bo Dong from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) underlined the importance of holding this conference in China in their speeches.

The conference aimed to help with:

  • understanding the current global trends of some of the key issues in liability insurance
  • discussing the key challenges the industry is facing
  • looking at areas where re/insurers could do better.

Representatives from Munich Re and Geneva Association then gave presentations on "Environmental liability issues after industrial accidents" and “The role of insurance in extreme events caused by climate change”.


The highlight of the conference was the last item, a panel session on the “Developments in Environmental Liability” moderated by Jayne Plunkett, Managing Director and Head of Casualty Asia of Swiss Re.  Panel members included:

  • Feng Jia, Director of the Centre for Environmental Education & Communications of MOEPO
  • Qing Zhang Chief Risk Officer, The People’s Insurance Company of China, Property and Casualty
  • Emily Yuan, Partner, King and Wood Law Firm
  • Nanjun Zhu, Associate Professor and Deputy Dean Risk Management and Insurance Department School of Economics, Peking University
  • Qin Lu, General Manager of Swiss Re Beijing Branch, Head of P&C China,

There was a lively discussion between the panel members and audience. The panel demonstrated that the liability topic can only be tackled through collective discussion and industry collaboration.

As Robert Wiest highlighted in his closing remarks, the key take-aways from the conference is:

  • Insurance can play a key role in dealing with the environmental liability issues after industrial accidents.
  • Insurance should play a bigger role to help the society be more resilient in dealing with extreme events caused by climate change.
  • The insurance industry must be more proactive in promoting environmental liability in developing countries like China.

Conference next year

Due to the success of this conference, Swiss Re is committed to hold an International Liability Regimes Conference next year in Beijing, with the aim of bringing the industry together again and discussing how to bring solutions to the developing market in China.

Published July 2011

Robert Wiest, Managing Director of Swiss Re China, kicks off the conference

Jayne Plunkett, Managing Director and Head of Casualty Asia of Swiss Re moderates the panel session

Qin Lu, General Manager of Swiss Re Beijing Branch and Head of P&C China, gives a presentation on Environmental Impairment Liability Insurance in China

Lively discussion was held among panel members and the audience on the developments in environmental liability in China. The panel members, from left to right, are Qin Lu and Jayne Plunkett from Swiss Re, Feng Jia from the Centre for Environmental Education & Communications under the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Qing Zhang with PICC P&C, Emily Yuan with King and Wood Law Firm, and Nanjun Zhu from the Peking University.

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