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XPRIMM News
XPRIMM News - THE ROMANIAN INSURANCE MARKET NEWSLETTER
No. 125, January 29th, 2009
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MENU: EDITORIAL | POINT OF VIEW | INTERVIEW | TOP PRESS | CEE, RUSSIA&CIS | FINANCIAL NEWS | EVENTS
 
 
 
INSURANCE PROFILE
  EDITORIAL


Focus on retail

The beginning of the year, usually a period when everyone sets great objectives, catches us, at the start of 2009, more pessimistic than ever. The media is full with stories about the adverse effects of the economic crisis we are crossing, while Nobel laureates underline that we haven't seen anything yet...

And yet ... there is life after the crisis ... and it belongs to those who will know how to best adapt to current realities.

To overcome this times as well as one can, the insurers, whether they activate on the non-life segment, or they sell life insurance, have mainly one solution ... the orientation to individual customers, to retail...

In the conditions in which, for reasons of cost reductions, adjustments are being made in the budgets of companies, mainly in marketing and protection expenses, the insurers must address to individuals.

Moreover, an opportunity in this regard is the introduction of mandatory households insurance, which will help to the development of the voluntary insurance class.
Also, in the context of further clarification of the legal framework, health insurance could meet an explosion of sales. And companies in the life segment could take advantage of the fact that in times of crisis, people are more aware of their need for protection.

Customers will not make, not even this year, a queue at the door of the insurance companies, so the insurers must be aware, more than ever, that "insurance is sold, not bought." Thus, significant investments are needed, in marketing and promotion, in training the sales force, especially in what the client service activity is concerned.

Because there is life after the crisis only for those players that will provide a superior quality of services...
Thus, the companies that will put retail customers on the first place will win.

by mihaela.circu@mxp.ro

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BCR Asigurari de Viata

MILLENIUM INSURANCE BROKER


WILLIS
POLISH Re

FADATA
KINGSPAN
EDITORIAL | POINT OF VIEW | INTERVIEW | TOP PRESS | CEE, RUSSIA&CIS | FINANCIAL NEWS | EVENTS
 INTERVIEW

 

Interview with
Bogdan ANDRIESCU
President
UNSICAR

XPRIMM: At this time the capital city has almost half of the national underwritings. Do you consider that this report will remain constant and in the future?
Bogdan ANDRIESCU:
In this moment, Bucharest has a lot to win because of corporate clients operating in the country but placing their risks in the capital city.
On the other hand, the brokers who have international links are in Bucharest and are working on behalf of clients with branches, as local representative in the territory, often have limited competent in terms of insured amounts and terms of insurance.
Also, I do not feel that the corporate contracts administration will be transferred to local branches because of the simple reason that there is no qualified staff as well specialized in the territory to operate such complex policies.
Therefore, the corporate market will not develop at the same pace, becoming somehow full, instead the retail underwritings will rise, on individual lines. Due to retail, the report will change in favor of the territory again.

XPRIMM: What is, in your opinion, the most urgent problem of the insurance market in Romania?
B.A.:
In the market is very easy to notify the customers' lack of information. What happened a decade ago applies now and now when companies place their own advertising campaigns, with slogans such as "Insure here!".
There was no constant share of awareness for the population about insurance, which can be easily proved by statistical data and especially by poor insurance coverage in households insurance.

XPRIMM: The Mandatory households insurance Law will contribute to promoting this type of insurance or is there a danger that it creates reluctance among the population?
B.A.:
The best way to promote house insurance is through fiscal measures, so to have the greatest effect upon population and not by a law that makes them mandatory. Reference was made to the insurance as the "households third party liability", but they are similar only in their binding character.
We have to make a clear differentiation between the MTPL and the voluntary households insurance. The liability to third parties should, in my view, be required for as many areas as possible, protecting the individual through a trading mechanism. At the same time, the voluntary insurance expresses the individual's desire to provide.
I fear most that at the first major damage, there will be difficulties in granting claims, inducing a confidence decrease in private insurance in general. Also by this law, the state has declined any involvement in compensation.

XPRIMM: What will be the involvement of insurance brokers in this project?
B.A.:
In terms of insurance brokers, in this moment we are not involved and do not consider it an advantage if we participate in this project because it is a low value insurance policy which will difficulty cover the distribution costs.
It may also be an insurance that creates opposition from the client, because of the mandatory character and we want to develop a market based on healthy, commercial principles, which will respect the individual's wish.

XPRIMM: How did the relationship between insurance companies and brokers evolve in the recent years? Was it reflected at the intermediated policies level?
B.A.:
There was progress and it has not been achieved "overnight". The brokers' position gradually becomes one of a specialized consultant and a client representative.
Regarding the percentage evolution of the mediated premiums in total underwritings, there is a difference between countries, depending on each tradition, so we can not estimate the exact level intermediation will reach.
However, it will still exceed that level of growth recorded in overall insurance market.

XPRIMM: How do you appreciate limiting brokers' commission to 15% for MTPL?
B.A.:
The figure itself is not the problem, but limiting. Each insurance company has some criteria that need to be followed, as placing risk in reinsurance, claims reserves, and in relation to the insurance broker to establish their report according to the contract costs that they have to distribute these products.
On the other hand, a broker must cover their fixed costs. Therefore, an intervention in the commercial relationship between the two entities is totally not welcomed. Insurance companies can negotiate on their own the contracts with insurance brokers, as well as before.
Also, two years ago UNSICAR sent a material to CSA (Insurance Supervisory Commission), regarding the brokers that mainly have MTPL portfolio, in which we proposed that these brokers should operate with the status of agents and have maximum percentage of MTPL portfolio, on which to agree. At that time, the proposal was that the percentage should be 60%.
At present, each broker's network is organized so that from the negotiated commission it pays its own agents services. Under the contract conditions, the agent can receive more than 15% from the insurance premium. Here is the danger that some brokers even get in bankruptcy.

XPRIMM: How do you appreciate that the market evolution will be in the current economic context?
B.A.:
In this context, without a major event or a natural catastrophe to take place, I think we will have a slack insurance market. On one hand, we can see the decline in motor vehicles sales, the restructuring taking place in large enterprises and disposal that is to come.
On the other hand, I tend to think that the insurance coverage will increase because, in crisis conditions people become more aware of the risk their heritage is exposed to and want to have it protected, thus offsetting the injuries.
I consider that the budget for insurance, both for individuals and companies will have to win as priority because of the loss would be very difficult to recover through their own forces. Regarding motor insurance, the car park was significantly renewed compared to previous years and a sales decline was normal, while the financial crisis only accelerated this process.

by vlad.panciu@mxp.ro,
mihai.cracea@mxp.ro

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Bogdan ANDRIESCU
Bogdan ANDRIESCU
President
UNSICAR

MEDICOVER
EDITORIAL | POINT OF VIEW | INTERVIEW | TOP PRESS | CEE, RUSSIA&CIS | FINANCIAL NEWS | EVENTS
 POINT OF VIEW


Data, information and education

Apparently, there seems to be a paradox in what information is concerned: the lack of it is just as harmful as the excess data, or as the abundance of poor quality information. Once the Internet was created, any imaginable topic can be detected in a few seconds and an avalanche of data more or less connected to your target fill out your computer screen. Moreover, fierce competition in the media or simply the people's need to communicate, generates comments on any possible subject, in an attempt to transform raw data into information. The quality of the comments, however, whether they come from the "professional" or the "amateur" environment, is often poor.

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Dragos CABAT

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Dragos CABAT
Dragos CABAT
President
CFA Romania and Managing Partner FINANCIAL VIEW
EDITORIAL | POINT OF VIEW | INTERVIEW | TOP PRESS | CEE, RUSSIA&CIS | FINANCIAL NEWS | EVENTS
 TOP PRESS

Insurance in 2009: a 10-15% growth and profitable activities
Insurance market will continue its upward trend in 2009, but growth will slow down. So, the volume of underwritings will increase by a nominal share of 10-15%, expressed in RON.
This is the conclusion of the leading insurance companies and brokerage present at the event "Forecast 2009", organized by the Magazine PRIMM-Insurance & Pensions.
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by mihaela.circu@mxp.ro, 21.01.2009


Life insurance: 10% reduced growth and focus on retail in 2009
Life insurance will continue its upward pace in 2009, but it will be reduced by more than 50%. So, the life underwritings volume this year will meet a nominal increase of around 10% in national currency, according to leading life insurance companies present at the "Forecast 2009" event, organized by PRIMM-Insurance & Pensions Magazine.
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by andreea.ionete@mxp.ro, 21.01.2009


PAID: ten shareholders...and counting
At least ten insurance companies have expressed their intention to take part, as shareholders, to PAID - The Pool for Insurance Against Natural Disasters, according to a survey by XPRIMM publications.
The CNA requested from the insurers, at the end of December, an official statement regarding their intention to participate in the building of PAID, as well as the nature of their participation.
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by andreea.ionete@mxp.ro, 19.01.2009


Ion BAZAC wants complementary health insurance, based on the Second Pillar model
The Minister of Health, Ion BAZAC, has set as an objective to conceive, by the end of 2009, a project to develop a system of complementary health insurance, similar to the private pensions' 2nd Pillar. This action should come in order to increase the competition between hospitals and, thus, the quality of medical services.
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by andreea.ionete@mxp.ro, 23.01.2009


Insurance will still be based on the motor segment
The general insurance market's development engine will still remain the motor segment in 2009, according to the leaders present at the event "Forecast 2009", organized by PRIMM-Insurance & Pensions Magazine.
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by mihaela.circu@mxp.ro, 21.01.2009


Crisis approach for life insurance: current customers retention and sales of traditional life insurance on retail
Life insurers present at the event "Projections 2009" held on Tuesday, January 20th this year, unanimously consider that the addressing capable to support the profile market in the next hart period is preserving and retaining existing customers, along with increased efforts to attract new retail clients. Meanwhile, the corporate orientation will no longer be viewed as an advantage this year.
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by andreea.ionete@mxp.ro, 23.01.2009


A new hierarchy in Insurance
The insurance market of the past years has been marked by continuous changes in the top ranking. Moreover, the results recorded after the first nine months of 2008 show that the waters are not calm and the following reports can bring a new leader.
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by vlad.boldijar@mxp.ro, 27.01.2009


Joint initiative for obtaining fiscal deductibilities on life insurance
One of the solutions to the problems that the Romanian life insurance market will face in the next period would be providing tax incentives, according to the leaders of the profile companies, that were present on Tuesday to the PRIMM Asigurari&Pensii event, "Forecast 2009".
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by andreea.ionete@mxp.ro, 23.01.2009


Sales force must learn to sell retail health insurance
The participants at the "Forecast 2009" event estimate, for this year, a growth on the health insurance segment. However, the crisis will force companies to implement measures to reduce and optimize costs, some of these costs being the ones related to employee retention, like offering corporate health insurance as a benefit.
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by andreea.ionete@mxp.ro, 21.01.2009


Customer retention and profitability, OMNIASIG's targets in 2009
OMNIASIG Vienna Insurance Group, the second insurer in Romania, aims to increase its profitability and keep the current customers this yearS, according to company's President, Constantin TOMA.
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by andreea.ionete@mxp.ro, 19.01.2009


VIG grows with 68% in Romania in 2008
The companies of Romania members of VIENNA Insurance Group (VIG) achieved in full year 2008 an underwritings volume increase of over 68% compared to the previous year, until EUR 613 million, consolidating its leading position in the local insurance top.
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by andreea.ionete@mxp.ro, 28.01.2009


EUROINS Romania, active on the Hungarian market
The insurance company EUROINS has officially started its activities in Hungary through the first insurance CASCO policy written in this country. Insurer has received at the beginning of 2008 the permission to operate in Hungary.
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by mihaela.circu@mxp.ro, 23.01.2009


YES for PAID and for voluntary households insurance
The implementation of mandatory households insurance will help increase the development of the voluntary class, but the growth rhythm can not be estimated, the leading insurance companies present at the meeting "Forecast 2009 - General Insurance" hosted by PRIMM-Insurance&Pensions Magazine.
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by mihaela.circu@mxp.ro, 21.01.2009


BRD Asigurari de Viata, closer to final approval
The life insurance company that SOGECAP, the insurance division of financial group SOCIETE GENERALE, will launch in Romania received the establishment authorization from the Insurance Supervisory Commission at the end of last year. The French are now completing the documentation for obtaining the final authorization for BRD Asigurari de Viata.
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by andreea.ionete@mxp.ro, 26.01.2009


INTERAMERICAN will change its name to EUREKO Romania
INTERAMERICAN soon will begin a rebranding campaign through which the company's name will become EUREKO Romania. Moreover, the insurer received the approval from the Insurance Supervisory Commission for changing its name at the end of 2008.
Thus, in the Insurers' Registry Book hosted by ISC's website, the company is listed under the new name of EUREKO Romania.
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by mihaela.circu@mxp.ro, 28.01.2009


TIRIAC Air's plane, insured by ALLIANZ-TIRIAC
The plane belonging to the business man Ion TIRIAC, damaged on Friday, 16 January 2009, when landing at the airport in Oradea, was insured by ALLIANZ-TIRIAC.
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by mihaela.circu@mxp.ro, 20.01.2009


Underwritings in credit and warranties insurance went down to half
The value of gross written premiums in the class of credit and warranties insurance exceeded, in the first 9 months of 2008, EUR 45 million, representing 2.5% of the underwritings realized in the market, according to the specialty magazine Insurance PROFILE.
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by vlad.boldijar@mxp.ro, 20.01.2009

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Casco Ieftin

Safety Broker
EDITORIAL | POINT OF VIEW | INTERVIEW | TOP PRESS | CEE, RUSSIA&CIS | FINANCIAL NEWS | EVENTS
 CEE, RUSSIA&CIS


The Fifth International Carpathian Insurance Conference is waiting for its guests
On February 16-19th, 2009 Business Strategy Center PERSPEKTIVA with the support of the League of Insurance Organizations of Ukraine holds the V International Carpathian Insurance Conference - a major and significant event in the international sphere of insurance activity. The event will take place on the base of recreation centre KARPATY, Yaremche city, Carpathians, Ukraine.
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by oleg.doronceanu@mxp.ro, 29.01.2009


The Annual International Conference on Risk Management in Almaty
The Fifth International Conference on Risk Management will be held this year traditionally in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 15-17th April 2009. The event is organized by EURASIA Insurance Company, one of the leaders on the local insurance market and an active player on the CIS markets.
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by oleg.doronceanu@mxp.ro, 28.01.2009


All-Russia Conference on Reinsurance has come to its 13th edition
All-Russian Union of Insurers with the support of the business center "Delovoy Format" proudly presents their next conference "Reinsurance in Russia. Guidelines for today and tomorrow" to take place in Moscow, on 24-25 March 2009.
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Click here for more details!
by oleg.doronceanu@mxp.ro, 27.01.2009


CEE markets boost VIG's premium
VIENNA Insurance Group saw premium volume increase by 16% in 2008, to EUR 8.30 billion, boosted in part by growth in its Central and Eastern European operations, according to preliminary financial data released by VIG.
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by oleg.doronceanu@mxp.ro, 27.01.2009


Ukrainian government to cut subsidies for agricultural insurance
Ukrainian government reduced to half the amount of subsidies granted for agricultural insurance in 2008 and intend to cut them in 2009, according to local economic publication forecasts.
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by eugen.spivacenco@mxp.ro, 27.01.2009


Croatian insurance market up by 6,8% in 2008
Total gross premium charged by 25 Croatia's insurance companies amounted to EUR 1.3 billion last year, which is 83 million or 6.8 percent more compared with the similar period of 2007, according to limun.hr. Premium in non-life insurance was EUR 958 million, 8.4 percent more year-on-year.
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by eugen.spivacenco@mxp.ro, 22.01.2009


Slovenian insurance companies acquire EUR 2 billion in premiums in 2008
In 2008, Slovenian insurance companies increased the volume of written premiums by 6.6% to approximately EUR 2 billion, according to limun.hr.
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by eugen.spivacenco@mxp.ro, 28.01.2009


Insurance Supervision Agency from Slovenia grants license to CEBRON
Slovenian Insurance Supervision Agency have granted a license to Srecko CEBRON, the third member of the Board of the reinsurance company SAVA Re, while the fourth member, Maja KRUMBERGER, has still not been interviewed in the process for obtaining a license, states the Agency.
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by oleg.doronceanu@mxp.ro, 28.01.2009

 

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EDITORIAL | POINT OF VIEW | INTERVIEW | TOP PRESS | CEE, RUSSIA&CIS | FINANCIAL NEWS | EVENTS
 FINANCIAL NEWS


Analysts: BRD will post a profit of EUR 340 - 380 million
BRD Societe Generale, the second-largest player in the banking system in terms of assets and network, could post a net profit between RON 1.25-1.40 billion (EUR 340-380 million) for 2008, according to financial analysts interviewed by Business Standard.
This means that the lender, run by Chairman Patrick GELIN, could make up approximately one quarter of the profit registered by all bankers in the system in 2008.
At the end of the first nine months of 2008, the lender's net result amounted to EUR 285 million, including the funds from the sale of the 25 percent stock owned at the ASIBAN insurance company. The value of the deal amounted to EUR 62 million, and the net operating profit rose surged 19 percent compared to the first nine months of 2007, to EUR 223 million, according to data published by the bank. Market estimates show that BRD's net income in last year's fourth quarter could range between EUR 60-100 million, considering the lending slowdown due to the international crisis and restrictions on loans for individuals. Most analysts did not venture to forecast BRD's profit in 2009, putting forward the lack of the bank's estimates for the time being, but have unanimously anticipated growth rates lower than in 2008.
by standard.ro, 20.01.2009


BNR agrees to less restrictive conditions for mortgages
As of January, Romanians are free to access mortgages for which they offer collateral of homes and in town plots of land with a maximum degree of indebtedness of 60-65 percent, provided they make a down payment of at least 10 percent. This is the first decision on less restrictive lending in 2009, insistently requested by bankers, and approved yesterday by the National Bank of Romania (BNR). Bankers are preparing to grant mortgages with a minimum down payment of 20-25 percent of the value of the home, said Radu Gratian GHETEA, Chairman of the Romanian Banking Association (ARB), while lenders are expected to finalize the new regulations in about one week.
In spite of this decision, bankers are skeptical, considering that less than a fourth of the 42 banks in the system are expected to modify their lending conditions. This because mother companies halted financing these banks, and because the new conditions will apply differently for each bank, depending on poor performing loans these have in their portfolios. "Some banks have announced they wish to maintain the degree of indebtedness based on the existing regulation. Once this is modified, banks send the regulation to BNR for approval and if this is too optimistic, we send it back. We hope to give them a response in two-three days from receiving theirs," said Nicolae CINTEZA, Head of the Supervisory Division of the central bank. CINTEZA excludes the possibility of a zero down payment on mortgages, which could only be applied if loans are guaranteed with an additional deposit.
by standard.ro, 16.01.2009


ERSTE hopes Romania will be suffer the least from the crisis in the East
Romania's economy could register a 4 percent advance according to estimates by Austrian ERSTE Bank. This is the most optimistic estimate, exceeding even the figures advanced by the Romanian government, of 2.5 percent. Furthermore, for next year, the bank is forecasting 5.4 percent growth of Romania's gross domestic product (GDP). The figures for Romania are the best for the entire Central and Eastern European region (ECE), with the exception of Bulgaria, for which the bank has not made a forecast. ERSTE has taken into consideration a possible drop in the monetary policy key rate by the National Bank of Romania (BNR), in its upcoming monetary policy meeting. A gradual reduction (by a quarter of a percentage point) and a drop in minimum mandatory reserves would raise liquidity on the market. "Inflationary pressures are persisting at quite a high level due to the depreciation of the leu and a rise in administered prices. In this context, BNR will attempt to maintain a difference of at least three percentage points between the key rate and inflation at the end of the year," explained Dumitru DULGHERU, Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) Economist. ERSTE is also more optimistic about other indicators, estimating 5 percent unemployment this year, half a percentage point less than the Romanian government's forecast, which would mean the best rate for all ECE countries analyzed. On the other hand, ERSTE's forecast for the current account deficit is less optimistic, at 12 and 9.8 percent for 2009 and 2010, respectively. The bank is also predicting a similar scenario for the public deficit, estimated at 4 percent of GDP this year, and 3.3 percent in 2010. Neither is Romania expected to do much better in terms of inflation, especially if its rate is compared to prognoses made for the other Central and Eastern European states. ERSTE is estimating 5.4 percent for Romania, while the best rates for the December-December period will be posted by the Czech Republic (2.5 percent) and Poland (2.8 percent).
by standard.ro, 21.01.2009


CEC Bank posted over EUR 100 million in earnings in 2008
CEC Bank, the player with the widest territorial expansion, registered earnings in 2008 four times higher year-on-year, of over EUR 100 million, while its assets amounted to RON 13.7 billion (EUR 3.44 billion), according to Radu Gratian GHETEA, the Lender's Chairman of the Board.
The spectacular leap in profit registered by the bank, which is among the top ten players in the banking system, comes from the sale of its 25 percent stake in the ASIBAN insurance company, for EUR 62 million.
The bank's loan portfolio, which includes clients such as small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), agricultural sector players, and retail, has nearly doubled last year, to RON 8.1 billion (EUR 2.03 billion).
CEC Bank is one of the few banks in the Romanian system which has a favorable loan/deposit ratio, of 70 percent, considering some lenders granted four times more loans than attracted deposits. Although most banks have sharply cut the value of loans, especially in last year's final quarter, CEC continued to grant loans at the same pace as in the entire 2008. GHETEA's forecasts for 2009 are rather optimistic. "We want to increase by more than the average in the banking system this year. A market's growth rate on assets of 15 percent seems reasonable," he added.
by standard.ro, 27.01.2009

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EDITORIAL | POINT OF VIEW | INTERVIEW | TOP PRESS | CEE, RUSSIA&CIS | FINANCIAL NEWS | EVENTS
 EVENTS

FIAR - International Insurance-Reinsurance Forum
May 25th - 29th, 2009
Sinaia, Romania
12th Edition
Organizer: Media XPRIMM
Official web-page: www.fiar.ro


V International Carpathian Insurance Conference
February 16th-19th, 2009
Yaremche, Ucraina
Producer: LIOU
Organizer: BSC PERSPEKTIVA
Media Partener: Revista PRIMM - Asigurari&Pensii
Details: www.cbs.org.ua


All-Russia Conference on Reinsurance
March 24th - 25th, 2009
Moscow, Russia
13th Edition
Organizer: All-Russian Union of Insurers
Co-organizer:Business Center Delovoy FORMAT
Details: www.re-conference.ru


V International Conference on Risk Management
April 15th-17th 2009
Alma-Ata, Kazahstan
Organizer: EURASIA Insurance Company
Media Partener: Revista PRIMM - Asigurari&Pensii
Details: www.irmc.kz

 

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