IFRS insurance contract consulting — Implementation

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Operational challenges

The main challenge involves the implementation of an efficient and robust calculation process that feeds the accounting system. This requires a collaboration between accounting and actuarial experts. These experts will have to match the high demands on actuarial modelling with the strict timeframe of an auditable accounting process.

Examples of the challenges are:

  • Determination of the right discount rates for each contract
  • Measurement of participation features, onerous contracts and reinsurance
  • Retrospective application of the new measurement approach
  • Absorption of changes in assumptions about future insurance services
  • Income statement with the underwriting and investment result
  • Other Comprehensive Income generated by insurance contracts
  • Revenue presentation based on an earned premium approach

Strategic challenges

The new IFRS standard for insurance contracts has a huge impact on how the performance of an insurer is presented to its stakeholders. Methodological choices that affect the way that future profits will be determined and released should be well chosen and properly understood by management.

Pricing and ALM management must also be checked for accounting effects. The new IFRS9 standard for financial instruments has an earlier mandatory starting date and unwanted accounting volatility may emerge under certain ALM strategies.

Also, a retrospective use of the standard is required at its first time application, which will determine the accounting performance of the existing business for decades to come.