NBB Insurance Stress Test 2018


Stress testing is an appropriate tool to identify vulnerabilities of the financial system and to assess the potential impact of risks on the stability of the financial system in general and the insurance sector more specifically. Stress testing also helps to identify those undertakings that may pose a risk to the stability of the financial system or the insurance sector. The National Bank of Belgium (NBB) can, after the analysis of the stress test results, issue recommendations to be implemented by the insurance undertakings in order to contribute to the stability of the financial system.

In 2018, the Belgian insurance sector is subject to a stress test consisting of two scenarios and a questionnaire on cyber risk. The scenarios and the questionnaire have been developed by EIOPA for their 2018 European insurance stress test and are adopted by the NBB and applied to a significant part of the Belgian insurance sector.

The first scenario (Yield Curve Down) assumes a persistent low yield environment and a significant increase in the average life expectancy across the entire population. The second scenario (Yield Curve Up) assesses the impact of a sudden and sharp increase in yields, an instantaneous increase in lapses and higher than expected claims inflation on the solvency position of an insurer. The stress test is a bottom-up exercise focussed on individual insurers. The published results focus on the Yield Curve Up scenario given that this type of scenario hasn’t yet been discussed in previous stress test exercises.


Publication date


17 July 2019

Stress Test 2018 – Summary of results




22 May 2018

Launch of the NBB Insurance Stress Test 2018

24 May 2018

Information session at the NBB

22 May - 14 June 2018

EIOPA Q&A process

31 August 2018

Submission of the results to the NBB

September – October 2018

Validation and analysis of the results

End of December 2018

Communication on the results

Stress Test Specifications

Publication date


5 June 2018

NBB technical specifications v1.2

22 June 2018 EIOPA technical specifications v1.4
5 June 2018 EIOPA technical information v1.2

Reporting Templates

Publication date


22 May 2018

Reporting of the NBB stress test results

22 May 2018 Cyber risk questionnaire
22 May 2018 Explanatory note

Questions & Answers

To ensure the consistency and comparability of the results, a Question & Answer process will run from the launch of the stress test until the submission of the results. All questions should be sent to ist@nbb.be and your file manager. It should be clear to which part of which document they relate. Questions not directly relating to the stress test but to the Solvency II framework in general will not be treated in this Q&A process.

Questions will be treated on a bilateral basis first. If the nature of the question is of general relevance and of interest to the other participants the NBB will transfer the question to the EIOPA Question & Answer process. The deadline for submitting questions to the NBB that could be transferred to EIOPA is 14 June 2018. Participants are encouraged to submit questions as early as possible in the process. Both the (anonymised) question and the answer will be published every Tuesday until 19 June 2018 on the NBB stress test webpage.

To the extent that a Q&A affects other reference documents, they will be updated with the same frequency. Undertakings shall regularly verify if new Q&As or new versions of the reference documents have been published and take them into account when performing the stress test.

Publication date


22 June 2018 Final set of EIOPA Q&A 
22 June 2018 EIOPA Q&A - Errata Corrigendum
 22 May 2018

Q&A template