Position paper

Consumer Model of the German Insurance Association

Consumer protection is becoming an increasingly important issue at both the European and the national level. It is in this light that the insurance industry is formulating its differentiated consumer model and directing its efforts towards improving consumer-friendliness even further. The model and its 8 principles also provide a frame of reference for discussing and evaluating legislative initiatives and other consumer protection measures.

Digitalisation, demographic change and the continuing emergence of distinct lifestyles, as well as the enduring low-interest environment and the appearance of new risks, e.g. from climate change, have a lasting impact on consumers, businesses and society. While some of these developments put consumers in a stronger position, others make them more vulnerable.

The insurance industry sees its customers as mature citizens who make their decisions independently and on their own responsibility. But at the same time, it recognises that people differ based on their individual life situations, preferences, needs and abilities. As a result, the model under which consumers are competent to make all purchase decisions equally, provided only that they have sufficient information, does not apply to the insurance market based on practical experience.

There is no such thing as one “ideal consumer.” Recent research also supports a more differentiated view of the consumer and the Grand Coalition adopted such a view in its 2013 coalition agreement. As a result, the industry envisions a broad range of consumers, extending from highly competent to vulnerable.

But this does not mean that consumers should not be allowed to make their own decisions, or that they should not be responsible for their actions. Rather, consumer protection measures must be directed towards enabling consumers to participate in the insurance market independently.

The GDV’s Consumer Model can be found in the download section.


pdf image
Consumer Model

Consumer Policy Positions of the German Insurance Association (GDV)

PDF (150 KB)