Corporate Responsibility at If
The primary responsibility of If is to make sure that its customers are correctly insured. If keeps track of customer needs in life-changing situations, offering its customers preventive insurance services. Through risk management and underwriting, corporate responsibility becomes a part of If’s core business. Thereby, If’s role in society is crucial in mitigating the economic losses tied to environmental or social harm. Preventing injuries, damages and accidents is in the interest of If, the customer and the society at large.
If works towards a safe society by spreading knowledge and awareness regarding loss prevention. In 2017, If’s corporate responsibility activities focused on loss prevention through initiatives for safer societies and to increase understanding of the risks posed by climate change. These are both critical elements of If’s overall corporate responsibility strategy. In 2017, If’s corporate responsibility work was realized through cooperation with organizations and authorities, donations and active education of customers and the public.
Throughout the years, If has gathered extensive knowledge of how people are affected by losses and how such losses can be avoided. This knowledge is increasingly sought after and important – both for If as a company and for the general public. If wants to share its knowledge and expertise in loss prevention for the benefit of the public in general. As an example, If has launched Nordic online safety stores offering safety related products ranging from reflectors to first aid kits and from locks to life vests.
Global warming will affect the whole insurance business and the societies it serves. If operates in countries where abnormal weather phenomena, such as storms, heavy rains and floods, are likely effects of climate change. The insurance industry provides early indicators of the consequences of environmental impacts in general and climate change in particular.
A vital part of If’s responsibility work is the fight against climate change. If has taken a clear stand on the importance of environmental issues and takes active measures to contribute towards sustainable development. If is developing products, processes, and loss prevention services in order to help customers act in a more environmentally friendly manner. By providing If’s customers with guidance on how to prevent losses, the company can help its customers save money and protect the environment. Further reading on the measures If takes, in its own operations, can be found in If’s Environmental Report 2017.
For years, If has actively cooperated with numerous organizations on different topics, climate change being one of them. A recent example is the cooperation with CICERO Center for Climate Research in Oslo, Norway. In this five-year research plan the world-renowned scientists at CICERO are studying the effects of cloudbursts and where they most likely will hit in the coming years. In order to help people adapt to changes in the climate, the findings of the studies are then shared with If’s customers and the general public.
In Denmark, If is actively involved in the Network for Eco Labelled products. As an engaged member of the network, If helps to send a clear signal to suppliers and manufacturers, that leading Nordic companies demand products that are manufactured with the highest possible consideration for the environment.
Safety in Society
Safety continues to be an important theme for If. During recent years, If has particularly focused its efforts on fire and traffic safety.
For years, If’s experts have analyzed the company’s extensive injury statistics and published this information in order to increase traffic safety. In the past year in Sweden, cyclists have been in focus. If created a shortlist with suggestions for changes to traffic laws and regulations, which would increase safety for cyclists. The list has generated significant interest in the media and the cycling community.
The safety of children and youth has been a leading theme of If’s safety work. For a decade, If has been involved in programs aiming to improve the traffic situation around schools in Sweden, Norway and Finland. If’s annual survey among headmasters, asking about the traffic situation around their schools, shows that most headmasters are worried about the children’s safety and that the pace of improvement works is slow. Additionally, in Norway and Finland, If Safety Fund donates reflective vests and other safety equipment to kindergartens, schools, local rescue teams, and other local initiatives, every month.
With the “If Safety Pin” scholarship, If also strives to combat different types of exclusion in society in Sweden. The scholarship is awarded annually to a young social entrepreneur working to support other young people in vulnerable situations. In 2017, the recipient of the SEK 50,000 scholarship was Madeleine Beermann, chairperson of the Swedish organization called Unga Reumatiker (Young Rheumatics).
In 2017, If introduced “If House Inspections” to all Nordic markets. If offers house owners with extensive house insurance a comprehensive home inspection free of charge. Specially trained inspectors inspected almost 40,000 homes in 2017 and the plan is to inspect 40,000 homes every year. The benefit is that people can learn how to better maintain their house and improve security, for example how to minimize the risk of fire and burglary.
House fires affect far too many people every year. If informs, instructs, and educates people to prevent fires in all of If’s markets. In Norway, If is a founding contributor to the National Fire Protection Week every year. In Norway, If has also launched a web-based tool called “Brannleken” (“Play with Fire”) to get families to focus on what to do if a fire occurs at their home.
Towards the Future
In the future, If is continuing to develop its responsibility work around the same thematic areas. If wants to take responsibility when customers and public safety are concerned. If believes that it is possible to make a difference in society by sharing knowledge and offering expertise.