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DR-WALTER - Sustainability as a philosophy

For more than 60 years, we at DR-WALTER have gone our own way. For us, sustainability means acting with foresight and responsibility in everything we do on a day-to-day basis. We want to run our business in a sustainable manner, thereby showing respect and support for our environment and everyone in it. We are convinced that this is the only way in which DR-WALTER can be successful in the long term, both as a regional company and as a global insurer: by adopting sustainability as a guiding principle in our daily life and work.

Our definition of sustainability

The term 'sustainability' was first coined by Hans Carl von Carlowitz more than 300 years ago. His idea was originally used in the context of forestry and has since become the concept of modern sustainability: "Not taking more than can grow back". Sustainability is a principle that merges economic capacity, social justice and environmental compatibility. Here at DR-WALTER, a key feature of our daily business is to find a way to harmonize these three pillars of sustainability.

Economic sustainability

For more than 60 years, DR-WALTER has been a leading expert in travel insurance. As a sound, medium-sized company, we strive for growth and good profits. That’s why we focus on economically responsible management. A company can only be sustainable if it is successful in the long term. As an insurer, we have always placed great value in the sustainable cooperation between shareholders, management, employees and customers.

Sustainability is especially important for insurance companies: insurers make a service commitment for the future. This is a promise that can only be held if it is built on a solid foundation. That’s why DR-WALTER has always developed and brokered sound rates. We develop our own products for people who need complex and therefore particularly challenging insurance solutions. Our policies are calculated with sustainability in mind to provide long-term and substantial cover: we don’t want dumping prices but instead prefer to offer solid premiums that cover a sensible amount of risks.

At DR-WALTER, the insured are the focus of our business. That’s why we offer different versions of our products, tailored to the needs and wishes of our customers. On our online portals and product websites we provide detailed information on rates and services. On these websites, interested customers can quickly and easily purchase insurance online and immediately receive an insurance certificate. We also offer extended service hours to provide our customers with personal and phone support.

Since there are many different ways to define quality of service, we let the TÜV decide: since 2012, TÜV Nord has certified the reaction time and reliability of all departments at DR-WALTER. As a result, we were awarded with the TÜV certificate "Certified Service Quality". What is more, we have a special method at DR-WALTER of how to deal with criticism: we welcome it! That’s why we introduced a special process to collect all comments and criticism and use the gathered insight to improve our services. We always try to find a tailored solution for each problem, whether it’s contractual matters or questions concerning our benefits. We provide insurance cover for people in all kinds of different situations. That’s why we are part of a global network and can offer a wide portfolio both at national and international level. Holiday travelers, students, au pairs, volunteers, employees abroad and foreign visitors in Germany and Europe can count on us wherever they are.

Social sustainability

Here at DR-WALTER we specially developed the AIDWORKER policy so that volunteers, aid workers, missionaries and other specialists can focus their attention on helping others while enjoying full protection themselves. We attach great importance to this. In addition, we are active in various associations such as the Gütegemeinschaft Au pair, Aupair Society and DIA Deutsche im Ausland. Together with these organizations, we want to share our knowledge and experience and help to improve the situation of people at home and abroad. That’s why we also support these organizations and associations financially: each year, DR-WALTER donates more than EUR 10,000 to national aid organizations but also to associations and social institutions at the local level. This is something that we regard as also being part of social sustainability.

The staff who work at DR-WALTER are our greatest resource. As an employer, DR-WALTER has a great responsibility towards its staff. A responsibility that we put into practice by ensuring that our employees stay healthy: to avoid postural problems associated with desk work, our employees use ergonomic chairs and take part in regular health training sessions as well as preventive medical check-ups. In addition, all our offices come with fresh fruit and mineral water. To maintain and strengthen cohesion and spirit within the team, the staff at DR-WALTER undertake company trips and get together for a number of company events every year.

In order to promote the compatibility of career and family, DR-WALTER offers flexible working hours and part-time positions. Every new employee receives an internal orientation plan. This plan helps employees to get started and to better know and understand the company and its activities. By offering regular continuing education, we can guarantee that all our employees are up-to-date and understand the basic principles that make their work quicker and easier. In addition to training sessions on products and MS Office, rhetorical skills or coaching for executives, we also offer the possibility for on-the-job training as an insurance expert.

By means of an annual appraisal interview, we aim to establish a constructive exchange of ideas and feedback that goes beyond the normal daily cooperation. We want our employees to provide us with criticism, ideas and comments in order to improve satisfaction and acceptance within the company. What is more, every employee of DR-WALTER has a company pension scheme so that he/she doesn’t have to worry about old age.

Environmental sustainability

Sustainability for us also means respect for Mother Nature. Here at DR-WALTER, we want to play our part in protecting the environment and the climate and to reduce our ecological footprint. That’s why our computers, photocopiers, lights and coffee machines run on green electricity. In addition to electricity from renewable energies, we also use recycled paper with labels such as "Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)", "The Green Range" and the "EU Ecolabel". In the long term, we even plan to switch to entirely paperless offices. For our product brochures and insurance materials, we use carbon neutral printing.

In cooperation with ReviewForest, we plant a tree in Central America for every review on Google to restore the semi-evergreen tropical forest. Plant-for-the-Planet will take care of the trees for up to three years after planting. ReviewForest supports a range of projects that meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Hiring local people to plant trees provides them with fairly paid long-term jobs. The restoration of healthy native forests supports combatting the climate crises and the degradation of natural habitats.

As the experts for travel insurance and international private medical insurance, our employees travel all around the world by car, train or airplane. That’s why we support the German carbon offset company Atmosfair. This way, we can compensate for the unavoidable emission of greenhouse gases by providing financial support to climate protection projects.

Here at DR-WALTER, we know that this can only be the start. New challenges require that we regularly adapt the way we think and act. We do our best on a daily basis to keep our solutions sustainable and to harmonize their economic, ecological and social aspects