AXA has done the numbers - no reason not to pay shareholders a dividend, albeit about half what had been proposed. CEO, Thomas Buberl says that although it has concerns over 1,700 policies, related claims will cost it only €1.2bn. This clarity is welcome but how confident can any insurer be at the moment?
The dimensions of the risk are difficult to assess: the policy types that are enforceable is disputed, policy clause wording will require legal interpretation, and the full impact of COVID-19 on policy holders remains unknown. As corporates struggle to restart mothballed businesses they will need to decide whether to meet Mr Buberl halfway and accept the smaller but immediate settlement.