INTERVIEW: Rustam MAMEDOV, General Director, Asia Insurance, Uzbekistan

XPRIMM: How would you comment on the 2018 results for the market and your company?

Rustam MAMEDOV: Now some conditions that are being created in our country, make it possible to raise the level and quality of the provided services. Thanks to that insurance is one of the most dynamically developing industries of our economy. Participation in forums and conferences, training of employees, introduction of innovative technologies, development and improvement of internal business processes in accordance with the best international practices - we followed that direction in 2018.

In 2018 we improved our work with individuals, as well as developed and improved our insurance products. For example, we developed insurance of luggage and flight insurance. We also started to work with banks to provide insurance for property of individuals. In terms of issuance, credits become more available, so the task of insurance is to secure timely payment.

For credits we offer so called fully packaged products, which will include life insurance of a borrower, accident insurance of a bank card holder, insurance against critical diseases and others.

As of today, considering the tasks set by the government aimed at the forced reforming of the entire economy, Uzbek insurance companies are to ensure the reform process. The insurance market should increase efficiency of insurance protection of property interests for individuals and legal entities and thus provide compensation of losses (damage and harm) caused by various activities, unpredictable natural disasters, industrial disasters, catastrophes, negative social circumstances and incidents.

Big attention is paid to the agro industry of our economy. The insurance market is ready to support farmers, but the cluster system needs to be improved as well as more detailed study of methodological documents, statistical data and reinsurance of risks is to be done.

We try to keep up with the times - we launched online insurance policies, completed the company's website rebranding by enriching it with functionality.

XPRIMM: How successful was last year for your company in terms of GWP and other parameters?

Rustam MAMEDOV: As for our figures, I can say for sure that last year was quite successful for the company. We keep positive dynamics, which is clearly demonstrated by our performance results. The growth of voluntary and mandatory types amounted to 160.5% y-o-y. Property insurance types are growing, which is improving stability of our portfolio. We can also point out positive situation in voluntary property insurance, mortgage property insurance and motor insurance.

Thanks to the balanced insurance portfolio and reasonable approach to risk estimation, loss ratio in 2018 amounted only to 13.78%. Our reserves and assets are also increasing. We have also opened two new branches last year in the capital and insurance offices in regions.

XPRIMM: What are your plans and expectations for 2019?

Rustam MAMEDOV: We plan to open 10 more offices in the regions of the country. Generally speaking, we have many plans, part of them we already implemented last year and some of them we are ready to complete this year.

In particular, we'll keep working with large brokers and expand the list of our partners. This also applies to media partners, since openness and transparency of the company's activities is an important criteria for customers' confidence. In this case your company supports us greatly.

Today, digital technologies are developing intensively. Of course, the insurance industry also needs innovation. Our company is considering options for cooperation with specialized companies to introduce such technologies on our insurance market to create a digital platform that helps our customers to get insurance coverage for whatever they want, whenever they want and for however long they want. This makes insurance services more convenient and accessible to a larger segment of the population as it allows people, who could not afford traditional and longtime policies, to benefit from more affordable and customized insurance products that are provided at any time by phone.

Together with the state TV channel MAHALLA we held a number of events in the country regions for improving insurance culture among our population. We have presented our work and various insurance products to representatives of the local authorities, the Ministry of Emergency situations and the Fire Safety Service. We are trying to contribute to the insurance popularization in our country as well as increase confidence in insurance companies. In social networks we cover the most pressing issues (insurance objects, types, calculation of insurance cost, etc.).

We also plan to work with large enterprises. It is time to optimize the structure of insurance burden of big companies. This, in its turn, requires improvement of the quality of the provided insurance services. It is necessary to revise the approach to tenders. One of the key problems at conclusion of insurance policies is rapid and unreasonable reduction of insurance rates. Competition, based only on lowering prices, can't lead to any good results, since insurance, first of all, should help people get indemnities after insurance events. At that, qualification, experience and solvency level of an insurance company, as well as its level of reinsurance protection are not analyzed and evaluated. This may lead to negative consequences at loss compensation if an insured event occurs. The above mentioned measures not only improve the quality of the provided services, but also represent an anti-corruption element at the level of the state policy. It's especially important that within the framework of state interests a reinsurer has good reputation and good international ratings. This allows Uzbek insurers get high status and reputation on the international market and guarantees full compliance with terms of insurance agreements.

Asia Insurance (ASIA INSHURANS) was established in 2005 and has been operating on the Uzbek market for more than 13 years. The company is licensed for all insurance classes and provides 40 types of insurance throughout the whole country via 22 territorial units. By all main performance parameters, Asia Insurance is in TOP-10 non-life Uzbek insurers on the local market and according to the national rating scale has the uzA+ rating (very high insurance financial strength rating)   
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