Better protection of risk groups (neue-deutschland.de)

There will be no more makeshift hospitals like six months ago in Berlin in the second wave of corona.

Photo: dpa / Bernd von Jutrczenka

4325 – this is the number of officially registered new corona infections, as the Robert Koch Institute announced on Monday morning. The value is relatively low as not all health authorities provide data on weekends. But compared to the previous week that means an increase of 75 percent. The shock is still deep that in the past week record number of infections were reported several times in a row, with the high on Saturday of 7,830 new cases.

But where exactly do we stand when it comes to infections at the beginning of the cold season? The comparison of the current figures with those of March and April is a bit slow: Today about three times as many tests are carried out as at the time. This is due on the one hand to the significantly higher test capacities and on the other hand to better medical knowledge about Covid-19. In other words: A few months ago, certain symptoms of the disease were not even associated with Corona.

The Ifo Institute for Economic Research has attempted a simultaneous calculation to achieve better comparability. The researchers assume that at the peak at the end of March, beginning of April, with a test strategy comparable to that of today, well over 16,000 new infections would have been registered every day – more than twice as many as now. As always, when it comes to unreported numbers, this should not be taken at face value. However, it is clear that the situation is not yet as dramatic as it was six months ago.

This is also confirmed by figures from the hospitals on the serious cases: According to the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), which can access data from 1284 clinic locations, 2850 seriously ill Covid 19 patients were at the peak in mid-April Treated in intensive care units, currently there are 851. DIVI President Uwe Janssens referred to another positive development on Monday at an online press conference: If the average age of Covid 19 patients in April was 52 years, it is now 32 years. The risk of severe disease progression increases significantly with the age of the patient.

However, there is no reason for statements such as “not all that bad”. The rapid increase in new infections within a few days is worrying. “Our concern is that it will spread to older patients,” says Janssens, who is also the chief physician of intensive care medicine at the St. Antonius Hospital in Eschweiler.

Above all, pragmatic and targeted measures are needed to protect the risk groups, and the otherwise often divided virologists agree on this. Christian Drosten, institute director at the Berlin Charité, advocates a kind of pre-quarantine around Christmas time – that “people avoid social contact with grandma and grandpa as much as possible a few days before visiting their families.” He could also imagine a short lockdown over the Christmas period, as he tweeted on Monday.

His colleague Hendrik Streeck, director of the Institute for Virology and HIV Research at the University of Bonn, suggests that visitors to old people’s and nursing homes should be subjected to antigen tests that provide quick results. These should also be used regularly by staff and residents.

For everyday life, the recommendation remains to adhere to the AHA-L rules: distance, washing hands, breathing mask and ventilation. He appeals to the “personal responsibility not to let up so that we interrupt the chains of infection in good time,” says Clemens Wendtner, chief physician for infectious diseases at the Munich Clinic Schwabing. He also advocates a flu vaccination for younger people so that the influenza does not lead to an “increase in the number of infections”. Janssen’s great hope is that the discipline will continue among older people. The main thing is to “limit chains of infection in the family environment.”

The experts are obviously concerned about other things than the tabloid press, which scandalizes parties of young people and trips to risk areas, to which politicians have mainly reacted so far. A ban on accommodation, for example, is completely exaggerated, as normal family vacationers who adhere to the AHA-L rules do not pose any risk. A major lockdown like six months ago can also be avoided, especially since no one considers general school and daycare closings to be justified.

The increase in the pure number of infections in the course of winter will be slowed down anyway, but not stopped. The experts agree that hospitals are well equipped for this. “I don’t know a single one who says we won’t make it,” says DIVI boss Janssens. There are reserve capacities of almost 12,000 beds. The clinics also have emergency plans to reduce certain other operations, as they did half a year ago. “But there must also be the people behind the machines,” he adds. There is still a “lack of staff in the intensive care units”, even if something can be redeployed from other areas in an emergency. Little has happened here: “This discussion absolutely has to be taken up.”

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China’s economy is growing in the third quarter

Beijing, Berlin, Düsseldorf In view of the economic growth in China, German industry is drawing hope for its own export business. Car manufacturers, mechanical engineers and logisticians are reporting growth. “Business in China is going well again,” says the Cologne engine manufacturer Deutz. The mechanical engineering company Trumpf is also looking forward to attractive business.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are currently expecting that China will be the only large economy with growth in relation to the full year with around two percent plus. “The official Chinese figures must always be viewed with suspicion,” says Gabriel Felbermayr from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy to the Handelsblatt. “But the good trade data in particular are hard numbers.” Because they are confirmed by the relevant statistics from China’s trading partners.

The fact that the upswing in China is sustainable despite all the doubts about the official statistics is also shown by the figures from German corporations. Even in normal times, China is the most important sales market for German cars. Now the People’s Republic is even mutating into a lifeline for an otherwise starving industry.

The main reason for the surprisingly good result is the rapid recovery in business in China. While Mercedes sales in China fell by a fifth compared to the same quarter of the previous year in the first quarter as a result of the corona lockdown, after nine months the sales statistics show an increase of 8.3 percent compared to the first three quarters of 2019.

In the third quarter alone, Mercedes delivered 224,000 cars to customers in the Far East – an increase of more than 23 percent compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The result: The dividend from the joint venture with the Beijing state-owned company BAIC amounts to a whopping 1.2 billion euros and thus represents more than a third of Daimler’s total operating profit in the third quarter.

“Asia is definitely the locomotive,” says BMW CFO Nicolas Peter when looking at the global sales figures. In the third quarter alone, BMW sold 30 percent more cars in the People’s Republic than in the same quarter of the previous year. Since the beginning of the year, the Munich-based company has even sold twice as many cars in the Far East as on the once dominant US market.

Competitor Audi even reports “the best performance since entering the market 32 ​​years ago” for the third quarter in China, wrote Stephan Wöllenstein, China chief of the parent company Volkswagen, on LinkedIn.

The large German logisticians and mechanical engineers are also reporting that business in Asia is picking up again. “Freight traffic between Asia and North America has increased sharply throughout the industry,” says Deutsche Post. “There is also considerable demand for transport between Asia and Northern Europe.” Hapag-Lloyd, the largest German shipping company, has made a similar statement.

Other countries in the region such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia have also significantly expanded their exports again in the past few weeks – and have thus made a significant contribution to the recovery. After both Deutsche Post and Hapag-Lloyd cut their forecasts at the beginning of the pandemic, they have corrected their profit forecasts for the current year upwards again in the past few days. Shipping company world market leader Maersk also raised its expectations again last week. Container shipping companies and sea freight forwarders are currently benefiting from the steep rise in freight rates.

“Germany benefits from recovery in world trade”

So is China going to become the growth engine for the global economy again, as it was ten years ago after the financial crisis? Marcel Fratzscher, President of the German Institute for Economic Research, believes this is possible because China was able to successfully contain the virus and restart its economy faster than Europe and the USA.

“Germany is benefiting greatly from the recovery in world trade, which is being driven primarily by Asia and China,” Fratzscher told Handelsblatt. The economic recovery in China is more robust than in most other parts of the world, as the government in Beijing has launched large stimulus programs and the Chinese economy is less and less dependent on the rest of the world.

China expert Max Zenglein, chief economist at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (Merics), doubts that China will pull the world out of the recession. Like Fratzscher, he is convinced that the economic recovery in China will continue in the fourth quarter. “But the expectation that China will become the locomotive for the global economy is wishful thinking,” he told Handelsblatt.

For one thing, the growth in China is not enough for this. On the other hand, the trade balance is different from ten years ago: “China’s exports are growing much faster than imports,” said Zenglein. It is therefore not ruled out that China’s export industry will suffer setbacks if the upturn in the buyer countries is a long time coming.

In the first three quarters of the year taken together, China’s growth was in any case only 0.7 percent higher than in the same period in 2019. Even if the world’s second largest economy will still achieve an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of around two percent in 2020 as a whole, as the IMF and World Bank expect, this would be the lowest growth rate in decades.

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Official figures from the People’s Republic, experts have warned for years, should be viewed with caution anyway. Local governments often report embellished dates to Beijing in order to be better off in front of the central government. Because of the assessment basis alone, the Chinese GDP figure cannot be compared with the values ​​for Germany, for example. The economist Michael Pettis from Peking University points out.

In most countries, including Germany, the actual value added is measured when calculating GDP, i.e. what is actually produced and what services are provided. In China, on the other hand, the measurement is based on input – and this input in the form of state investments is largely determined by the government itself.

This is also the case this year: the recovery has so far been based primarily on the increase in industrial production, which is dominated by state-owned companies, and state infrastructure projects. “The Chinese GDP is a political figure and does not capture the true economic conditions,” commented Shezhad Qazi, Managing Director at the US analysis company China Beige Book, which specializes in the Chinese economy.

With all due caution towards Chinese statistics, IfW President Felbermayr is nevertheless convinced: “China has clearly supported the current German economic development, and this dynamic can continue to carry over the coming months.”

Because from June to August, German exports to China were 4.3 percent above the value of the same period in the previous year, while exports to the rest of the world were 11.4 percent below. But the impetus is manageable because only seven to eight percent of German exports go to China.

Alternatives to business in China

From China and Asia, it is mainly furniture, household appliances, kitchen and bathroom items that are shipped to Europe – products that are needed in your own four walls during the pandemic. In the opposite direction, notes a spokesman for Hapag-Lloyd, there is particularly strong demand from the Chinese side for chemicals and raw products. On the routes from Northern Europe to Asia, the level of the previous year was reached again after the massive slump in spring.

Business is going well again not only with China, but also with other Asian countries such as South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore, emphasizes Siemens boss Joe Kaeser, who is also chairman of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA). At the APA annual conference on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier (both CDU) as well as Kaeser warned the industry to look for more alternatives to their business in China in Asia in the future.

They cited two reasons: the Chinese government’s declared policy of wanting to become less dependent on high-tech imports, and the temporary supply bottlenecks during the corona crisis for products that were only sourced from China, such as protective masks.

The fact that German economists also currently believe in the sustainability of the Chinese upswing is primarily due to a number from Monday: demand in retail. It has lagged significantly behind the recovery in industrial production since the beginning of the year, but is now showing a slight trend reversal. Retail sales in September increased by 3.3 percent compared to the previous year. Analysts had expected an average increase of around 1.8 percent.

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In August, the number rose slightly by 0.5 percent for the first time since the corona crisis. The “big jump” in September shows “that consumption has stabilized further,” wrote Iris Pang, China chief economist at Bank ING, “and there were also signs of more spending by the economy.”

In the course of the year so far, however, the retail sector is still down by 7.2 percent. The slowly recovering private demand is also based primarily on rising sales of luxury goods and cars.

Overall weak consumption is a particular problem for China, as growth in the world’s second largest economy has relied more and more on private consumers in recent years. Designated in June

Zhang Bin of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), which is under the auspices of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, described the sluggish demand as “worrying”. China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang recently pointed out that it was important to stimulate consumption.

Growth target is set

Starting next Monday, the country’s political leaders will meet for four days at the highest level to discuss the so-called 14th Five-Year Plan. The plan is intended to set the Communist Party’s goals from 2021 to 2026, especially for the economy, and will apply from the beginning of next year.

Usually a growth target is also set there. However, reports in Chinese state media suggest that there may not be such a determination this time around.

In the end, the further development depends above all on whether China continues to keep the number of corona cases under control. Occasionally, small, locally limited outbreaks had triggered violent countermeasures by the local authorities. Entire neighborhoods were quarantined after an outbreak in Beijing in June. A huge Covid-19 mass test was only ordered in the port city of Qingdao at the beginning of October after individual new cases became known.

Apart from that, everyday life in the People’s Republic is largely normal. Millions of Chinese had once again traveled around the country for “Golden Week”, a week of public holidays.

More: The pandemic strengthens China’s role in the global economy, says Handelsblatt reporter Stephan Scheuer.

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Corona should increase premiums

Facade of the Munich Re building in Munich

Analysts expect high burdens from the pandemic, especially for property insurance.

(Foto: imago images/imagebroker)

Munich The corona crisis is leading to the biggest changes for reinsurers in many years. Billions in damage from the pandemic as well as an interest rate environment that has tightened again this year give insurers hope for higher prices and improved conditions. In particular for long-term risks, for example in the liability area, the covers are likely to become more expensive, according to Munich Re. In this context, the industry speaks of a “hardening of the market”.

For reinsurers, this means a turnaround that is expensive. For years, prices in reinsurance treaded on the spot. On the one hand, the reason for this was a phase with low claims incidence, and the increased market entry of alternative providers outside the industry led to overcapacities on the market. That increased the competitive pressure.

The alternative providers such as hedge funds have recently not expanded their commitment because of the high damage caused by the pandemic. “The renewal round in the next few weeks will be organized, but not simply run off,” predicts Jan-Oliver Thofern, head of the German insurance broker Aon. However, there are no capacity bottlenecks on the part of the insurers.

For reinsurers, the expected increase in premiums also means high financial burdens from Corona. As early as June, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) calculated a total damage of twelve trillion dollars from the pandemic.

For property insurance in particular, analysts at large banks such as Barclays, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Berenberg expect charges of between 30 and 107 billion dollars. The average is currently $ 62.2 billion. The damage sums have risen rapidly, as late as late summer there was talk of around ten billion dollars.

Corona crisis intensifies the trend

The areas of travel and air traffic are particularly affected, but the cancellation or postponement of major events also resulted in high costs.

A prominent example was the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the postponement of which could cost the two market leaders Munich Re and Swiss Re a three-digit million amount. However, much cannot be assessed at the moment and could possibly lead to burdens for years to come, believes Aon boss Thofern.

Closed hotel in Mallorca

Canceled vacation trips are a burden on reinsurers’ business.

(Photo: dpa)

The corona crisis is thus intensifying certain trends in parts of the insurance business. In recent years, for example, the industry had high hopes for hedging against cyber risks. But it was only through the pandemic, the lockdown and the consequent relocation of many activities to the home office that many companies became aware of these dangers.

The reasons for this are very simple. Especially in the first phase of the lockdown in the spring, hackers took advantage of the inexperience of many users and the security systems that were not fully developed in many places for attacks and phishing emails. In March alone, the number of cyber attacks rose by 148 percent compared to February, the data provider Carbonblack has calculated.

Insurance: Protection against cyber risks in demand

Doris Höpke, Member of the Management Board at Munich Re, therefore assumes that the previously assumed global premium growth of around seven billion dollars this year to 20 billion dollars in 2025 could be exceeded. For Munich Re, the cyber risk hedging market remains one of the most important strategic growth areas.

The significantly higher number of legal disputes since the outbreak of the pandemic is also likely to have an impact on the business of insurers. The demand for legal expenses insurance has increased significantly among primary insurers.

The reinsurers are also feeling the consequences. “The trend towards an upturn in demand for reinsurance covers, which was already evident in the previous year, should therefore continue”, expects Michael Pickel, CEO of E + S Rück.

In contrast, business with natural catastrophes, which has traditionally been one of the major sales drivers for reinsurers, has seen only minor price increases recently. The reason for this is that the previous hurricane and typhoon season, which traditionally begins in late summer, has so far only led to manageable damage.

On the other hand, forest fires, such as those that occurred most recently on the west coast of the USA, are becoming a growing problem for the industry. In the past few weeks, it was lucky that they devastated large areas, but did not come across luxurious residential areas.

More: The corona pandemic paves the way for reinsurers to raise prices.

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Passengers shouldn’t hope for quick tests

Corona test center at Stuttgart Airport

Aviation is hoping for so-called rapid tests in order to be able to resume intercontinental connections.

(Photo: dpa)

Frankfurt They should be the solution for pandemic-ridden aviation: rapid tests that are carried out immediately before departure and, if the result is negative, could enable passengers to make intercontinental flights again without problems. The compulsory quarantine otherwise provided for in the travel regulations of many countries could thus be dispensed with according to the ideas of the aviation industry. It is the main reason why people are currently barely booking flights.

Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr has high hopes for this rapid test, as does his colleagues in the global airline association Iata. And many travelers are longingly waiting for such an opportunity.

But the straw that everyone clings to is thin. In order to make intercontinental flights possible again, as many countries as possible would have to recognize the tests – and quickly. Above all, however, politicians have long planned the quick checks elsewhere in view of the rapidly increasing number of infections: for example for the care and hospital sectors.

This is a problem for aviation companies. Because one thing is clear: Without up-to-date evidence that a passenger does not have Corona, air traffic will not pick up again. It is now generally accepted that the risk of infection in the aircraft is very low, provided that the passengers adhere to the requirements – such as wearing a mouth and nose cover. Even the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recently stated that there is no increased risk of infection when traveling by air.

But because the number of infections is reaching record levels worldwide, there is a growing risk that Covid-19 will be transported from one place to another by traveling, even if you are relatively well protected on the plane yourself. It is therefore unlikely that governments will decide to relax air traffic anytime soon. Rather, the protective measures are likely to be tightened further.

“Due to the technical characteristics of the aircraft, there is a higher risk of infection on the ground,” says Christoph Mostert, Managing Partner of the consultancy M2P Consulting from Frankfurt, which specializes in air traffic: “In order to regain customer trust and demand, uniform standards and fast, reliable ones must be used on the ground Give tests. This is absolutely possible if the processes at the airport are changed. “

That is why the airline managers and their lobbying association Iata are currently doing everything in their power to ensure that the quick test is accepted by political decision-makers. The association is in direct contact with governments and through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), it says.

On the airline side, preparations for the use of such tests are in full swing. The three premium brands of the Lufthansa Group – Lufthansa, Austrian and Swiss – want to start the trial phase at the beginning of November. Austrian Airlines, for example, wants to implement a new test system together with Vienna Airport. It is planned that the tests will be carried out voluntarily and free of charge. The experience gained should then be used for a practical solution.

A pilot test with rapid tests has been running at London Heathrow Airport for several weeks. Emirates and Qatar Airways have already built this into their own processes.

Iata boss Alexandre de Juniac assumes that the planned rapid tests will cost less than ten euros. A result could be available within 15 minutes. The first tests are already on the market and have an accuracy of more than 99 percent. Medical staff is not necessary for the tests.

Rapid test from Bosch

The Stuttgart-based company has developed a rapid corona test based on the more reliable PCR technology.

(Foto: Bloomberg)

Many of these statements are correct, but there are some caveats. There are now some rapid tests approved in Germany. There are 18 manufacturers on a list of the Ministry of Health, including the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche. Its rapid antigen test provides a result within up to 30 minutes.

However, these antigen tests are not as accurate as the so-called PCR tests, which are also used to determine the current number of corona infections. The RKI expressly points out that an antigen test cannot completely rule out an infection. Conversely, an antigen test can give a positive result, even if the person tested is not infectious at all. “That is why a positive result in the antigen test must always be confirmed by means of PCR,” explains the RKI.

In addition, rapid tests must also be carried out by medically trained personnel. A laboratory is not necessary for this, but a package of intensive protective measures for the staff. Lufthansa, for example, wants to rely on experienced partner companies here. So far, they have been working with Centogene on the corona tests.

In fact, the federal government wants to make the rapid tests an integral part of the overall test strategy. The problem: the travel industry has so far played a subordinate role. The federal government has already acquired millions of antigen tests. But these are primarily intended for use in care and health facilities, for example for regular testing of employees, residents, patients, but also visitors.

Aviation would need millions of tests every day

In the traffic light system recently adopted by the EU Commission, with which risk areas are clearly identified using color, the rapid tests play a different role than the aviation industry hoped for. They should help to shorten quarantine times or to end the quarantine. However, it is not intended to prevent them entirely.

More on the subject:

A huge number of tests would be necessary for a widespread use. Even Iata President de Juniac expects up to five million tests per day in air traffic alone.

The desire in the aviation industry remains to revive the ailing business with rapid tests. A new development from Bosch gives hope. Together with the Ministry of Research, the foundation company has developed a rapid test based on the more reliable PCR technology.

With such a test, it takes around 40 minutes to get the result. That is significantly longer than the 15 minutes promised by IATA President de Juniac. But such a test could still be integrated into the processes at the airport without any major problems.

More: Asia’s chaotic new start in travel

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Corona insurance in gastronomy: Hundreds of processes are pending

Because Vogler had signed a policy with her on March 5, 2020 to protect against the financial consequences of a possible business closure. He wanted to secure himself in the event that he would temporarily not be able to open his traditional bar and beer garden with around 5,000 seats due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

That is exactly what happened a short time later. In the nationwide Corona lockdown, the Augustiner basement also closed for two months. However, the insurance chamber did not want to pay: In their opinion, protection only applies to closures due to diseases and pathogens that are expressly mentioned in the contract. Covid-19 was not one of them.

Insurance companies have been making headlines for weeks because of a product that is barely noticed publicly in normal times. The so-called business closure insurance was only taken out 73,000 times in this country, most of them by hotels and restaurants. Less than a quarter of all restaurants in the country have such a policy.

Because the landlords, who were often in dire straits, pushed for compensation but the insurers refused to pay, hundreds of lawsuits are piling up in German courts. The Munich district court alone has now received 87 complaints. This threatens to damage the image of the insurers, which many in the industry consider more dangerous than possible financial compensation. The industry could be suspected of hiding behind the fine print in the contracts.

In the case of Vogler, the judges ruled in his favor: The regional court relied on the Infection Protection Act, into which Covid-19 was added by name as a reportable disease in May. The defeated Versicherungskammer Bayern may want to appeal. “As of today, we have not yet made a decision,” said a spokesman.

But the battle situation is anything but clear: A judgment last Wednesday was encouraging for the insurers: The Oldenburg Regional Court ruled in favor of Helvetia and dismissed the complaint by a restaurateur from the Lower Saxony community of Ganderkesee. The landlord had demanded around 127,000 euros in compensation from his business closure insurance.

And the legal proceedings are also not good for the reputation of the industry: representatives of Allianz recently had to hear harsh words in front of the Munich Regional Court when judge Susanne Laufenberg spoke of “lack of transparency” and “denying the blue”. The state manager of the Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Association Dehoga Bayern, Thomas Geppert, appealed to the insurance industry to “reconsider their sometimes tough and dismissive stance and to meet the demands of policyholders”.

The end of the wave of lawsuits is not in sight

The legal turmoil shows how unprepared the corona pandemic hit the insurers: the insurers probably hadn’t thought of a lockdown like in the spring, when restaurants in Germany had to close for two months by order of the state – when they drafted their contracts, it was mostly there Individual cases in focus.

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From the insurers’ point of view, examples of impending dangers have been salmonella infestation in an ice cream parlor, a hotel employee infected with the norovirus or a butcher’s shop where E. coli bacteria were discovered. In such cases, authorities order the closure. Most policies cover loss of earnings for up to 30 days, and occasionally for up to 60 days. Premiums between 100 and 400 euros per year were usually due.

The industry association GDV defends the stance of its members: The federal states closed the companies for general preventive reasons and not because they posed a specific health risk. In most cases, however, this case is not stipulated in the policies. Only in individual cases is there a claim that payments will of course be made here.

There is no end in sight to the wave of lawsuits: law firms such as Gansel Rechtsanwälte in Berlin called for a legal collection campaign weeks ago, which more than 1,500 companies have now joined.

There are two thrusts: on the one hand, lawyers turn against individual federal states that have adopted the lockdown measures; on the other hand against insurers unwilling to pay. In the best case scenario, money should ultimately flow to the innkeepers from both sides. In the opinion of lawyer Paul Czakert, the federal states are also responsible if their measures for the lockdown in the spring may have been lawful: “Nevertheless, in our opinion, state liability applies here.” The companies concerned would have to be compensated for the special sacrifice they made .

The dealings with insurers in the Berlin law firm are similar. If one cannot reach an out-of-court agreement, each individual concerned will be sued. “Because the procedure is comparable in both cases, this is an interesting constellation for litigation financiers.”

These legal financial service providers bear the costs of judicial and extrajudicial disputes and, if successful, collect a fee of around 30 percent of the compensation. If the company making the claim has taken out legal protection insurance, this will cover the legal and legal costs if necessary. Then, in the event of success, the full compensation would flow to the innkeeper.

Among the insurers, those responsible are hardly expressing themselves at the moment because of the public explosiveness of the topic and the high amounts of damage. Jean-Jacques Henchoz, the new head of Hannover Re and thus one of the largest reinsurers in the world, becomes clearer: “The problem is that primary insurance products are often complex and difficult to understand.” The industry must work on designing simpler products. “That will also help to improve the reputation.”

Many insurers are currently working on this. Under the umbrella of the GDV, a network of experts has been working on future model conditions for business closure insurance since the summer. Epidemics and pandemics should not be covered by such a product, only infections in the respective company.

Sample conditions should bring clarity

Everywhere in the industry they are currently reviewing their terms of contract for the controversial policies. The alliance says that the previous product is no longer being offered. In future there will be a new business closure insurance with new conditions that are more clearly formulated. At HDI in Hanover, they even want to open the product to companies outside the food industry and even offer it to freelancers such as doctors, lawyers and tax consultants.

But here, too, the following applies: Those who preventively close their business in order to avoid social contacts with their employees and in customer traffic cannot count on compensation. The Bavarian Insurance Chamber, as the largest public insurer in the state, supplements the exclusions from insurance cover and clarifies some clauses initially for one year through an additional agreement. Until then, there should be new model conditions for business closure insurance.

The case was somewhat different with Helvetia, who was victorious in court. The insured diseases and pathogens were named in their contractual conditions, which the judges in Oldenburg expressly emphasized in their judgment. There is therefore a nationwide consensus that a general assessment of the different insurance policies is not possible. Rather, it depends on the individual contractual clauses that have to be considered in each individual case. This was emphasized in July by Susanne Laufenberg, the presiding judge in these proceedings at the Munich Regional Court.

Waiting for legal certainty

Lawyer Czakert therefore assumes that the latest court decisions will pass through the courts to the Federal Court of Justice before final legal certainty prevails. Then insurers would offer payments or at least comparisons.

Opinions differ widely on an offer that was celebrated in spring as the “Bavarian solution”. The Bavarian state government and the hotel and restaurant association agreed with the insurers that up to 15 percent of the contractually agreed daily allowance should be paid to the hospitality industry without being checked. The negotiating partners assumed that around 70 percent of the operational expenses would be eliminated due to the closure. The remaining 30 percent should be shared between the insurer and the innkeeper.

More than 75 percent of customers have chosen it, according to Allianz. Over one hundred million euros have been set aside for business interruptions caused by Covid-19 or have already been paid out. The Bavarian Insurance Chamber is talking about the vast majority of customers with whom an amicable out-of-court agreement has been reached.

For Paul Czakert, the lawyer from Berlin, such regulations are still not an alternative: “The so-called Bavarian solution is a loss for many policyholders.” But because the settlements were offered out of court, it has often turned out in the past that also in such cases a legal claim can exist. “I advise everyone to seek legal advice, even if they have already signed an offer from their insurance company.”

Hannover Re boss Jean-Jacques Henchoz, on the other hand, considers the compromise solutions in Bavaria to be a good starting point and better than years of legal dispute. “I would be amazed if the discussion could last two to three years.”

In the coming months, Germany’s courts are likely to have a lot of work to do. The Bavarian Chamber of Insurance states that the number of remaining disputes is very low. But against Helvetia there are 87 lawsuits pending nationwide, says its lawyer Benjamin Grimme. At Allianz it is said on request that there are around a hundred claims for cover.

More: Insurer has to pay Munich landlord due to corona closure.

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Corona today … a shocking way to transmit infection … and this disease threatens

4:00 pm

Sunday 18 October 2020

Books – Sayed Metwally:

After the emerging corona virus has become a threat threatening the whole world about 10 months ago its appearance, all of us are looking forward to knowing what happens every minute, in light of the tremendous development that Covid-19 has brought in our lives.

Within this framework, “Masrawy” provides a daily service that includes displaying everything you want to know about the latest developments in the emerging corona virus, from the emergence of new symptoms or the occurrence of a different mutation, as well as the development of vaccines and drugs, in brief.

A shocking way to spread the virus

A recent study exploded a surprise about a method that is the first of its kind ever to spread Corona since the outbreak of the epidemic, according to what its supervisors believe.

This study was also based on a previous incident that took place in China, where 6 people caught the virus from sewage water, according to “Al-Arabiya”.

According to the study published in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases, a bathroom tube that passed through the home of a couple infected with corona in the southern China region of Guangzhou had a hole, and when it rained in the area, the hole caused the streets to be flooded with sewage water, which enabled the virus to infect nearby residents .

This disease threatens you with death due to Corona

New research published in Anesthesia (a journal of the Association of Anesthesiologists) has revealed the high risk of death that Corona patients face in intensive care, those with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or those who undergo a new (acute) injury to the kidneys as a result of the development of Covid. 19.

CKD is a type of kidney disease in which kidney function deteriorates over months to years, and it is more common in the elderly, according to “Medicalxpress.”

This new study, led by Dr Sanoj Soni of Imperial College London, United Kingdom, and his colleagues examined the relationship between renal impairment of Covid-19, after examining clinical findings in 372 patients with corona who were admitted to four regional ICUs in the United Kingdom during the period. Between March 10 and July 23, 2020, the average age of patients was around 60, and 72% of them were male.

6 ways to transmit Corona through the eyes

Here are 6 ways the coronavirus can enter your eyes, as explained by “eatthis”.

Rubbing or contact with the eyes.

Exposure to transmission of an aerosol.

Wearing contact lenses.

Sharing eye drops or cosmetics.

Sensitivity.

Share towels and pillows.

Basic measures to avoid infection with Corona in the winter:

Russian doctor Alexander Karabenenko said that the regime of wearing masks and gloves will also be necessary in winter, as the behavior of the Corona virus in winter is not well understood, so maximum protection measures should be taken.

The doctor said: “Masks prevent the spread of those fumes and fluids that a person releases when speaking, coughing and sneezing, and masks should be worn in the same way regardless of cold weather … The mask will not harm in winter. Gloves must also be worn. There are a lot of bacteria and viruses that nest on Skin on hands.Usually a person rubbing his nose and touching his lips causes the virus to enter. Wearing a mask and gloves is mandatory in winter, “according to” Sputnik. “

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Government puts crisis costs at almost 1.5 trillion euros – Lauterbach expects local lockdowns

The Federal government expects coping with the coronavirus crisis the public coffers 2020 and 2021 a total of 1.446 trillion euros will cost. This emerges from a response from the Ministry of Finance to a request from the left parliamentary group leader Dietmar Bartsch, about which the editorial network Germany reported on Sunday.

In total, there are costs for the health system as well as the procurement of medical material, the support and stimulus programs for the economy, international aid payments, declining income and higher spending by the social security funds as well as state guarantees in the form of guarantees, quick loans and the federal government’s participation in the European Reconstruction program included.

In the current year, the Ministry of Finance expects crisis costs of 400.4 billion euros for the federal government alone. The budgets of federal states and municipalities will be burdened with an additional 89 billion euros. The Ministry of Finance forecasts the additional expenditure and loss of income at the social security funds at 26.5 billion euros. For 2021, the ministry is planning additional corona-related burdens for the federal budget of 74 billion euros.

The budgets of the federal states and municipalities are likely to be burdened with an additional 27.3 billion euros, social security with 2.8 billion. All in all, the budget-effective corona measures would be 619.9 billion euros. “Added to this are the state guarantees, which the Ministry of Finance specifies as 756.5 billion euros for the federal government and 69.8 billion euros for the states.” However, it is still unclear whether there will really be losses in the end.

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Karliczek wants to pay longer bonuses for taking on trainees

Anja Karliczek

The minister wants to reward companies that hold on to vocational training despite the crisis.

(Photo: AFP)

Berlin Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek wants to extend the takeover bonuses for trainees from insolvent companies by six months until the end of 2021. The bonus of 3000 euros for small and medium-sized companies is intended to ensure that more trainees from companies that have become insolvent due to the corona crisis can continue their apprenticeship in another company.

Since the bankruptcy law is currently partially suspended because of the pandemic, it also makes sense to extend these training bonuses until the end of next year, Karliczek told Handelsblatt. “Because only after the special regulations for insolvency law have expired will it become clear how many trainees need a new trainer in order to be able to safely finish their training.”

The takeover bonuses are part of the federal program “Secure apprenticeships”. According to this, small and medium-sized companies receive a bonus of 2000 euros per new apprentice in this training year if they keep the number of their apprentices constant, and a bonus of 3000 euros if they increase the number.

Head of the employment agency optimistic

How many companies will benefit from this is still unclear; the bonuses will only be paid after the trial period has ended. The federal government has provided a total of 500 million euros for the Corona training package.

The applications must be submitted to the Federal Employment Agency. In addition, companies that continue their training activities despite significant loss of work of at least 50 percent are subsidized with 75 percent of the gross training remuneration for each month in which this is the case.

Whether the bonuses work or the situation on the training market won’t be as bad as long feared – the head of the federal agency is optimistic about both: “My expectation is that we will end up having slightly more people without supplies than before the pandemic,” said Detlef Scheele few days. “We don’t see a Corona vintage.”

In total, there are a good 513,000 training positions for around 460,000 applicants, of which 100,000 were recently without a training position. “That means we are six to eight weeks behind normal training. But we agree with the chambers that we want to recruit by January, ”explained Scheele.

Many job interviews canceled due to pandemic

The problem is not just companies with declining sales. Because of the pandemic, many job interviews simply did not take place.

In July, the Federal Institute for Vocational Training feared that the bottom line was that around 50,000 apprenticeships could be lost. Experts also fear that far more school leavers could decide to study because of Corona. But there is currently no hard data for this either.

IG Metall boss Jörg Hofmann recently urged employers not to let up on training despite the crisis: “Today, companies must not make the mistake of saving on training because of the crisis. Then tomorrow they will shed crocodile tears again over the shortage of skilled workers, ”he said in an interview with Handelsblatt.

More: We have to strengthen vocational training – right now, demands Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek in a guest post.

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Christmas Terror: A Unique Opportunity (neue-deutschland.de)

After the most recent historic Prime Minister’s Conference, Jens Spahn reported on Deutschlandfunk with the words: “We will decide today whether Christmas can take place in the usual way.” Obviously, Spahn is toying with the idea of ​​canceling the festival on a ministerial decision because so many People were naughty. This is even the mildest variant, because according to the Disease Protection Act, he could also use the rod and then send all citizens to bed without dessert.

Andreas Koristka is editor of the satirical magazine »Eulenspiegel«.

Photo: / Camay Sungu

But would the Christmas failure be an appropriate punishment? On the contrary, we can rejoice! A Christmas in an unfamiliar way is possible! Anyone who hears this and does not immediately jump into the next S-Bahn to be coughed in the face by the first commuter that comes across must never have celebrated Christmas. Even those who feel they belong to the “Everyday Mask Team” will hardly be able to resist the temptation to push the pandemic a little further.

If this is successful, the first thing that should be banned is the Christmas markets, which offer the disgusting broth they call mulled wine and which is drunk off there as if there was no tomorrow and no more tooth decay. A sweet liquid manure that is served in cups that were only sparsely cleaned with the tongues of previous Christmas market visitors and then briefly dipped into a vat in which there was still the washing up water from the previous year.

If Christmas markets are despicable enough, their shabbiness is surpassed by medieval Christmas markets. An institution in which every achievement of the last 600 years is negated and replaced by sheepskins. Drinking horns, natural soap and blemishes from the stallholders’ skin are for sale there, as if they were precious treasures of perfectly shaped elegance and not rubbish that urgently needs a Sagrotan treatment. If you can’t do without it, you don’t deserve civilization!

Once the Christmas markets are gone, it’s time for the company celebrations. No bowling evening, no excursion to the “super tapas bar” that Mr. Müller recently tested with his girlfriend and where you are only served tiny bites for hours so that you can have a really thorough conversation with the same ass violins you have been with all year round was locked up in the office and which you hate so profoundly that you don’t forget a 15 glasses of red wine at company expense.

And the family celebrations first! Starting with the yuckling through this miserable republic, which is nowhere more gloomy than on its highways and train stations. No changing in Kassel, no stopover at the Börde Nord motorway service station! No Sanifair voucher that reminds you of even the most banal bodily functions that you are a personal prisoner of the market economy. There would be no presents that one would not dare to throw away for years later, no whining children, no in-laws!

Thanks to Corona we have a chance. But everyone has to help! We now have to move together socially in order to master this exertion together. Everyone should ask themselves: Can I maybe meet a few more people soon? Isn’t it possible for me to take a little stroll through shops in Neukölln or to throw a corona party for young people? You can register for hygiene demos, take a short trip to Spain or celebrate a wedding with 250 people in a 50 square meter ballroom. It is now! Together we can prevent Christmas!

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Private real estate investors face competition

Restored houses

The reason for the continued price increase is the low supply. Some experts therefore warn of price bubbles.

(Foto: E+/Getty Images)

Frankfurt Investors looking for a rental house these days have little to smile about: the right property is difficult to find, and the price for the property is rising and rising.

Not even the corona crisis will stop it – on the contrary: Covid-19 had no negative impact on the housing markets, says Felix von Saucken, the manager responsible for the asset class at the real estate consultancy Colliers International. “On the contrary: investors are even more interested in investing in residential real estate.”

This no longer only applies to wealthy private customers who have always liked to buy so-called apartment buildings, but also to institutional investors such as insurers, pension funds or fund companies.

Since March, Colliers has been asking real estate investors who manage at least 500 billion euros in assets over the phone about their investment preferences. Accordingly, more and more are flirting with the purchase of residential property: While around 40 percent of the investors surveyed were interested in this usage class in the time before Covid-19, it is now 47 percent.

Less return, but more security

“Residential real estate is becoming increasingly important as an addition to a fund,” says von Saucken. A few years ago, many would have expected more returns from other asset classes without great expense – albeit at a higher risk.

“I may still be able to rent out a house built in 1950, even if it is no longer the most beautiful,” explains von Saucken. “An office property from the same year is more difficult to sell.”

However, the management of residential properties is more complex because, for example, not just one tenant has to be looked after, as is the case with an office property, but several. “Ultimately, however, income from residential property is more stable,” he explains. In phases in which prices in the market are generally rising, this aspect may not be the focus of investor interest. “When times become uncertain, that is exactly what is needed.”

Smaller cities in view

The real estate expert is convinced that the prices for residential property will continue to rise. In a report that is exclusively available to the Handelsblatt, Colliers International has analyzed and assessed developments in 42 German cities.

“There was no city where we are really skeptical,” says von Saucken now. “Although we do not expect the price jumps as large as in the past five years, we do expect a continuous, moderate increase in both purchase prices and rents.”

In 2019, 9,230 residential and commercial buildings with a transaction volume of 20.6 billion euros were sold in the cities examined – after 19.8 billion euros in the previous year, this corresponds to an increase of 4.1 percent compared to 2018. The cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne and Frankfurt alone accounted for 11.3 billion euros – more than half. As in the previous year, Berlin had by far the highest turnover with 4.8 billion euros.

You can read more on the topic exclusively in Handelsblatt Inside Real Estate, the specialist briefing on the future of the real estate industry. Sign up here.

The cities of Aachen (plus 132 percent to 414.6 million euros), Fürth (plus 79 percent to 119.2 million euros) and Munich (plus 77 percent to 1.9 billion euros) recorded the strongest increase in sales volume From Collier’s point of view, this is a clear indication that secondary locations such as Aachen and Fürth are becoming increasingly attractive for investments due to the more attractive returns and greater development potential and are becoming the focus of investors.

Other locations apart from the seven major cities with significant growth in investment volume compared to the previous year were Offenbach (fourth place), Mainz (fifth), Wiesbaden (sixth) and Darmstadt (seventh), especially in the Rhine-Main area.

Too little new building

The reason for the continued price increase is the low supply. Even if a stroll through many German cities currently gives the impression that construction is going on everywhere: in 2019, around 293,000 apartments were completed, two percent more than in the previous year. However, around 400,000 apartments are needed annually to meet demand. A fact that many in the real estate industry criticize.

But according to the experts, a significant increase in the number of new buildings is also unlikely in the coming years, even if almost four percent more building permits were issued in 2019 than in the previous year. “You just have to look at how much is being built – and then how many people are moving to the cities,” says von Saucken. For Germany as a whole, experts forecast an increase in households by 2.8 percent by 2035. “The demand for living space will continue to be high, especially in the cities,” concludes Colliers.

Some experts therefore warn of price bubbles. The investment bank UBS recently published a study in which it saw clear signs of overheating in Munich and Frankfurt. “No other city in the world is as exposed to the risk of a real estate bubble as Munich and Frankfurt,” explained Maximilian Kunkel, UBS chief investment strategist in Germany.

25 metropolises around the world were considered for the analysis. For their “Global Real Estate Bubble Index 2020”, the experts calculated index values ​​of 2.4 and 2.3 for Munich and Frankfurt – at more than 1.5 points, the experts recognize the risk of a price bubble.

This puts them ahead of world cities like Paris and London. With the economic boom and a doubling of housing prices in a decade, Frankfurt is a “victim of its own success”. The corona crisis is now becoming the litmus test of whether the high prices are justified. In Munich, the strong local economy and solid population growth continued to fuel the real estate markets, while too little new living space was being created.

Bubble – or not?

Colliers manager von Saucken does not see the risk of price bubbles forming. Conversely, however, there are practically no more properties at prices below the market level. What looks like a bargain usually has a catch – such as poor transport links. “Then the question is: Do you want that?”

Colliers is not alone in his optimistic assessment of the German market. “Living is the winner of the corona crisis”, says Peter Schürrer, who as managing director of the Deutsche Anlage-Immobilien Verbund (Dave) represents twelve real estate consulting companies. “It has just become clear how important your own four walls are, whether owned or rented.”

More: Attractive cities, best location: Where residential real estate is worthwhile despite Corona.

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