France and Germany have witnessed significant increases in incidents of civil unrest, with France experiencing a staggering 55% increase and Germany reporting a 13% increase in social unrest in the first quarter of 2023. compared to the same period in 2022, according to a report by specialty re / insurance group Chaucer.
The study conducted by Chaucer also revealed a global increase in incidents of civil unrest, with numbers rising from 29,535 last year to 30,376 last year, representing a 3% increase in whole world.
The developed world, in particular, is facing double-digit inflation and rising interest rates, resulting in a sharp decline in real income and worsening public discontent.
Eurozone countries have faced growing civil unrest in the past year, exacerbated by record high annual inflation of 8.4%.
Concerns loomed over public anger over the rising cost of living translating into widespread protests, leading to increased demand from corporations seeking insurance coverage for potential damages. arise in strikes, riots, and civil commotion (SRCC) incidents.
However, insurers responded to the long-term trend of increasing civil unrest, observed since the Global Financial Crisis, by removing coverage for SRCC damages from standard insurance policies.
This policy change has created a coverage gap that specialist (re)insurers have stepped in to address. Demand for such coverage is particularly strong among international brands in the retail, entertainment, and financial services sectors.
Craig Curtiss, Senior Class Underwriter for Political Violence & Crisis Management at Chaucer, highlighted the direct link between the rising cost of living and the rise in civil unrest.
Curtiss noted that Europe, particularly France, has witnessed a trend of unrest in the past 12 months, with mass protests gripping the country. Moreover, even traditionally strong economies have been affected by public protests, reflecting widespread discontent.
In Germany, the number of incidents of social unrest increased by 13% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, amounting to 249 incidents, from 161.
The country experienced a sharp increase in energy prices after the invasion of Ukraine, which increased the grievances that caused public unrest.
Meanwhile, in France, the controversial issue of pension reform contributed to a staggering 55% increase in incidents of social unrest, reaching 249 cases in the first quarter of 2023, from 161 in the corresponding during last year.
Protests involving hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Paris, while coordinated strikes resulted in widespread disruptions, including the cancellation of public transport services.