"Schweizer Pool für die Versicherung von Nuklearrisiken" (Swiss Pool for the Insurance of Nuclear Risks) is made up of private and state-owned insurance and reinsurance companies active in Switzerland. The Pool was established in 1957 to bear Swiss and foreign nuclear risks for an undefined length of time.
What is a pool?
A pool is a group of insurance companies which collectively insure a specific risk or a specific line of business. The pool solution is ideal for relatively unknown risks which do not occur very often, but have a great loss potential. Consequently, the pool concept has become a popular way of insuring nuclear risks in other countries as well as Switzerland.
The regulations ensure that the pool member companies do not take on obligations which are too big for the financial strength of a single member. Bundling financial capacity and loss adjustment resources also ensures that, in the event of a major loss, all members have the best possible indemnification and loss adjustment capacity.
With a major loss, it is possible that the above-average accumulation of claims with a sole insurer could lead to its insolvency. Therefore, non-life insurance companies worldwide exclude nuclear risk from their insurance coverage. However, to provide collective coverage for this risk, the majority of insurance carriers in a country, eg in Switzerland, join forces in a nuclear insurance pool. This spreads the risk across multiple companies. Individual companies thus do not face the risk of insolvency when hit with a major loss event. Furthermore, to cover an insured sum that exceeds the overall financial capacity of the pool members, excess capacity is purchased from nuclear insurance pools abroad. This enables members to offer a high level of coverage, yet spread their risks optimally. Thus, victims of a very serious nuclear accident can count on high and secure coverage.
Like many other nuclear insurance pools globally, the Swiss pool also offers loss protection insurance to the nuclear power plant itself, as well as compensation for victims. However, its main task is to compensate individuals in the case of nuclear damage.