Inapoi la

No. 129, March 26th, 2009
Click here to subscribe!
Click here to unsubscribe!
Powered by Media XPRIMM

The first Regional Awards granted by XPRIMM

VALUE DOES NOT HAVE GEOGRAPHICAL LIMITS, we say - in Bucharest or outside it, insurance is sold and bought.

In the spring of 2004, Ploiesti became the first destination outside the Capital for the "Where Do I Insure Myself?" National Programme. Today, every county in the country has been visited at least twice, and the "Insurance Day" Conferences reached their 30th edition.

We are still in spring, but in 2009, and Media XPRIMM's trust in the potential of the insurance markets outside Bucharest will acquire a new dimension - that of granting the first Regional Awards for insurers and brokers in the country.

Along with the already traditional trophies, they will reward performance, efficiency and quality in the Romanian insurance industry - county level.

The thousands of kilometers we have traveled during these five years and the hundreds of meetings have helped us appreciate and know you better.

That is why, at the Palace of Parliament, we have prepared a brand new show by XPRIMM, in which YOU will be the stars, you - the insurers and brokers from all across the country!

On the 26th of March you are our guests at the Insurance Market Awards Gala!

For details, visit



Insurance PROFILE Review
Click here to order!

BCR Asigurari de Viata


Credit Europe Asigurari

Interview with Gheorghe AXINTE
General Manager,

XPRIMM: How did AUDATEX start developing in Romania?
Gheorghe AXINTE:
Since we entered the market in October 2005, we managed to integrate ourselves in Romania because we started in an environment with a great potential where, through the collaboration with ALLIANZ-TIRIAC and with the DACIA Renault Nissan Group, we were able to inform other insurers and the repair shops how the AUDATEX application functions and what are the advantages of using it.
Despite a great resistance from repairers and a lack of confidence in the success of the project shown by some insurers, our market position has considerably improved in the second year of our existence, by signing contracts with ASIBAN, BCR Asigurari and GENERALI on one hand, and with nearly 100 repair shops, on the other hand. We are currently collaborating with eight of the top ten Romanian insurers and, also, with many of the other ones present on the market.
We have collaborations with a number of minimum 10 to 15 repair shops in each county and there are even some areas where we collaborate with over 30 of them. In Bucharest we have over 200 contracts.
It is important for us that we receive daily support requests from the repairers, and that is due to the continuing growth in the number of insurers who become our customers, as well as to the better and better reputation our company has on the Romanian market.

XPRIMM: What does the AUDATEX system consist of and how does it come between an insurance company and the repair shops?
AUDATEX holds an on-line database that can be accessed both from the office and from the field, and with its help the user can simulate and estimate a repair. Firstly, the type of vehicle that is damaged is identified, manually or automatically, depending on the number of the chassis, the latter service being available primarily for vehicles manufactured in Germany and, by extension, for the time being, for the producers in France. Secondly, the claims inspector or the service representative marks the car parts that were damaged, chooses the technical solutions and he obtains, as an answer from the system, an estimation of the repair that contains the parts that are to be replaced. Also, the original codes, their prices that are recommended by the producer or the importer of the brand (with coverage for over 80% of the vehicles in Romania), the necessary repair time recommended by the producer, the correspondent codes of operations and, of course, the costs of painting are obtained.
Thus, one can prepare an estimated invoice, before the start of the repair, or even the final estimate, after the completion, which is set as a common standard and which represents the actual essence of our existence.

XPRIMM: What is the main difference between the old way of collaborating between companies and repair shops and the one available through the AUDATEX system?
Firstly, when we entered the market, the times for repair were arbitrarily defined, often negotiated between insurers and repairer, regardless of the correspondent codes of operations from the producers' documentation. By mediating the relationship between insurers and services, we had the opportunity to standardize the process and to get a correct sum paid as compensation.
As an immediate consequence, independent services became very receptive to our system, and large networks have started to use more often the AUDATEX calculations.
Last but not least, we are trying to use, as much as possible the electronic transfer of information between partners, including the one of the records of claims, with the declaired purpose to reduce financial data blockage due to bureaucracy and to excessive use of paper as a data support.

XPRIMM: Which is the most significant problem that you are facing at this moment?
The most important problem is the repair estimate itself, where its three components (labor, spare parts and painting) are a continuing topic of dispute. Some of the repair units use the original software of the producers, but those are permisive, in the sense that operations can be mentioned several times in the repair estimate. Thus, it is all about the fairness of the person writing the estimate. The AUDATEX way of making the estimates eliminates common times and it does not allow the duplication of operations.
Also, there is a dispute between repairers and insurers because of the price of spare parts, sometimes not justified, and the AUDATEX solution is a reference in instrumenting compensations by promoting the maximum price recommended by importers for the Romanian market.
The third component of the estimate, the painting part, creates disputes mainly due to accounting regulations in force, by which the repair units are required to have quantitative justification for each material used, unlike the AUDATEX way of calculation, used all around the world, based on a price of materials per surface unit, which leads to total costs without details.

XPRIMM: Which are, at this time, your main competitors on the Romanian market and which are the differentiating elements for the services you provide?
The competitors on the Romanian market are those traditionally present on the foreign markets: EUROTAX and D.A.T. The main difference between the systems is given by the fact that the solutions offered by us are represented by an on-line program, which gives us speed in terms of updates, short time for usage and a high degree of accessibility. It is very important that it can be accessed from anywhere, with a username and a password. Another advantage is that all the data is stored on our servers, they do not occupy the space of the companies and reports can be generated directly from the system. The models of vehicles are frequently updated, with all necessary details to fully instrument any type of claim. With the electronic communication program, the repairers and the insurers can transmit the information in real time, the number of mistakes is minimized and the internal flow of information of each of the parties becomes more efficient. By using such a service, you can, at least theoretically, pay the compensation on the same day.
Another difference between us and the competitors (consequence of the on-line character of the application and of the availability of the history at any time) is given by the possibility of simulating and estimating possible future claims to be paid and average claims. This way, the system comes to meet the demands of the actuarial departments of the insurance companies.
Last but not least, the database of AUDATEX contains the lists of prices for spare parts, provided by importers, for over 80% of the cars sold in Romania, as I have mentioned earlier.

XPRIMM: It is clear that Romania is a market with a very large number of models of vehicles in circulation. How well is this range covered by the AUDATEX system?
At this time, our database contains nearly all the models on the Romanian market, except some types of trucks and motorcycles that are not found in the international database, either. The latest dynamics of the motor market makes it more and more difficult for us to maintain the database, but we can say that we are fast in this matter, because the update is done at least once a month for all models that are released, including facelifts for the existing models. Although costs for procuring the technical data and the original documentation for repair are relatively high, and despite the fact that the time of implementation of each new model in the program is considerable, we still register a real improvement in the relationship between AUDATEX and the car producers, in the sense that the number of contracts has increased and the producers will provide us all necessary data as soon as possible.

XPRIMM: Referring to the current economic context, do you consider that poor sales of new vehicles in this period may influence the activity of AUDATEX?
I don't expect a decline of the turnover in Romania, as long as there still are potential clients, both insurers and repairers.
We are likely to be affected by the amount of claims that will diminish in the conditions in which people no longer buy cars, but we will try to maintain the current level of development through the implementation of new products that will contribute to the increasing of the customer satisfaction level. Likewise, it mustn't be ignored the fact that the decreasing sales of new vehicles cause existing car fleet to age and it is possible that both individuals and companies that own car parks no longer consider opportune to insure them.

XPRIMM: How would you describe the initiative of some companies on the market to launch Motor Hull policies which imply that, in case of damage, with the client's approval, second-hand spare parts will be used for the repair?
If the policy is transparent to both parties, this initiative is welcome, because it leads to reducing claims costs, but the client must be made aware of the risks. Abroad, these solutions are accepted, but difficulties arise when transparency is not promoted.
For example, sustaining the repair on the clients' own behalf, which was tested and implemented in Romania for a period of time, based on the foreign experience, especially for older vehicles, was followed by the hilarious situations in which the client was trying to make savings from the amount received, that was not very big anyway. The consequences in such situations are immediately to be seen in the quality of repairs and in the safety of the traffic participants. But I must, once again, specify that it is highly important that the representative of the insurer explain to the client all the terms of the insurance, including the one in discussion, because, in fact, this does not really happen due to lack of time or even due to intended omissions.

XPRIMM: What are the main objectives of AUDATEX Romania for 2009?
For the current year, we aim to strengthen the existing portfolio of clients, with a minimum retention rate of 90% and, why not, to increase it, as long as there is still uncovered potential.
As I said, a lot of people looked at this business with suspicion because of the infrastructure, but I can say that all services that are working with AUDATEX have Internet connection and some of them have a network that works even better than the one of the insurers.
Because our product has evolved significantly, the staff is and it will be periodically trained. We want to train the team, to make it able to face our expansion plan and to respond as soon as possible to all requests for technical support that we receive daily.
It is more and more difficult to find the right people, whose preparation involves thorough motor and IT knowledge, as well as experience in insurance.
I consider AUDATEX to be a very well structured system of information, that makes the repair process more efficient and that provides transparency for the collaboration between the two entities.




Gheorghe AXINTE
Gheorghe AXINTE
General Manager,


MUNICH Re, Strategic Partner of FIAR 2009
One of the largest reinsurance companies worldwide, MUNICH Re, is supporting the 12th Edition of FIAR - the International Insurance-Reinsurance Forum - as a Strategic Partner.
FIAR 2009 enjoys the support of leading companies of the international insurance and reinsurance markets, whose business activity areas include Central and Eastern Europe. MUNICH Re is only one of the "big" names that prove once again the importance of the event this year.
Click here to read more!
by, 17.03.2009

ASTRA-UNIQA, Main Partner of FIAR 2009
The romanian insurance company ASTRA-UNIQA supports, as Main Partner, the 12th Edition of FIAR - the International Insurance-Reinsurance Forum. "The association, as a Main Partner, with such a large extent manifestation of the European insurance market, represents an opportunity for ASTRA to promote its image as the largest insurance company owned by a Romanian shareholder. We are proud to be one of the Romanian companies to support FIAR", Radu MUSTATEA, President of the Directorate, ASTRA-UNIQA, said for XPRIMM Newsletters.
Click here to read more!
by, 23.03.2009

Insurers-brokers partnerships of EUR 650 million worth, in 2008
The national brokerage market reported a total volume of mediated premiums in 2008 of around EUR 650 million, which represents, compared to 2007, a 38% nominal increase in euro (the equivalent of EUR 180 million in absolute value), according to estimations made by the Specialty Magazine INSURANCE Profile.
Click here to read more!
by, 23.03.2009

Tax incentives - an important stimulus for health insurance
The lack of an effective system of tax incentives for private health insurance is an important brake on the development of this area, and this fact must be taken into consideration by the authorities in amending the Law in the field, Carmen RADU, Deputy General Director EUREKO, said at the National Health Insurance Conference.
Click here to read more!
by, 13.03.2009

BCR Asigurari: Anti-crisis measures for "the year of renewals"
"Offering mainly insurance coverage products with medium and low degree of risk, establishing limited coverage programs and targeting especially the retail segment of the market, as well as the concern for maintaining the existing clients and the expansion of the relationships with them" are the main anti-crisis measures an insurance company must take, according to Mihail TECAU, President of BCR Asigurari.
Click here to read more!
by, 19.03.2009

BCR Asigurari de Viata changes name and logo and it discusses the transfer of BCR Prudent pension fund
The BCR Asigurari de Viata's General Shareholders Meeting, convened on April the 23rd, will discuss the approval for the change of name and logo of the company, in BCR Asigurari de Viata Vienna Insurance Group. Thus, along with the name change, BCR Asigurari de Viata will officially join the VIG "family" in Romania, paving the way for the rebranding process.
Click here to read more!
by, 25.03.2009

ALICO's appeal to PZU and AXA sets the target on AIG Life
The most profitable Romanian life insurance company, AIG Life, could become one of the most "hunted" targets in the Central and Eastern Europe. Thus, the two companies that have so far missed the opportunity to enter the Romanian insurance market - the Polish group PZU and the French insurer AXA - could lead a fierce fight for AIG Life Romania, considering the important position that the company holds on the local life insurance and pensions market. The event of a business of such proportions on the Romanian market comes as ALICO (American Life Insurance Company), the shareholder of AIG Life Romania, was approached by AXA and by PZU, by the first for a full takeover, and by the Polish for the buying of the CEE operations.
Click here to read more!
by, 24.03.2009

CERTASIG continues its development, despite the effects of the crisis
The diminishing of the insurance budgets of some corporate clients is not a solution to decrease costs. "On the contrary, in a period in which companies seek ways to enhance cost-efficiency by reducing administrative costs, insurance is a particularly recommended instrument of protection", Radu FRINCU, General Manager of CERTASIG, has declared for XPRIMM Newsletters.
Click here to read more!
by, 23.03.2009

ASTRA-UNIQA sees the beneficial effects of the crisis
Although the forecast for 2009 indicates a slowing of the growth of the insurance market and not a decrease, insurers are increasingly pessimistic regarding the evolution of the market. There are, however, players that foresee the beneficial effects of the crisis upon the activity of insurance companies.
Click here to read more!
by, 16.03.2009

UNIQA wants to fully take over AGRAS
The Austrian group UNIQA has launched a public takeover offer for the shares owned by individuals in the insurance company AGRAS.
Thus, UNIQA intends to take over the rest of 7.29% of the share capital, representing almost 2.5 million shares.
The price that UNIQA proposes is EUR 0.38/share, in the conditions in which the nominal value is RON 2.5.
Click here to read more!
by, 19.03.2009

CERTASIG has a new Reinsurance Manager
Starting April the 15th, Dragos CIOCAN will be the new Reinsurance Manager of the Romanian insurance company CERTASIG. At the present moment, he occupies the same position in EUROINS.
Click here to read more!
by, 20.03.2009

UNIQA Asigurari, the new name of UNITA
The Insurance Supervisory Commission approved the change of the UNITA VIENNA Insurance Group's name into UNIQA Asigurari. Thus, at the end of last week, the company taken over by the Austrian group in November 2008 was recorded with the new name in the Register of Insurers, on the ISC website.
Click here to read more!
by, 23.03.2009

ASTRA discusses giving up the UNIQA logo
The fourth insurer on the market, ASTRA, the largest company with majoritary Romanian capital, will discuss giving up the association with the UNIQA name, with the occasion of AGEA, scheduled for April 23rd this year, according to the convener remitted to the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
Click here to read more!
by, 25.03.2009


Casco Ieftin

Safety Broker


Reinsurance in Russia

On March the 24th, in the International Trade Center, in Moscow took place the XIII conference - "Reinsurance in Russia". At least 600 representatives of insurance organizations, market experts and journalists from over 25 countries took part in the XIII All-Russian reinsurance conference.
Click here to read more!
by, 25.03.2009

ALLIANZ Results in New Europe
The year 2008 was another successful year for ALLIANZ in New Europe. Despite market turbulences the company continued its course of growth. Gross written premiums in Property and Casualty insurance and in Life and Health insurance grew by 11 percent, to EUR 4.18 billion in 2008 from EUR 3.76 billion in 2007. Operating profit for the year 2008 continued to grow by 9.8 percent to EUR 348 million from EUR 317 million in 2007.
Click here to read more!
by, 17.03.2009

5% growth for PZU in 2008; treasury and EUREKO negotiation failed
The largest insurer in Poland, PZU, concluded 2008 with a profit of EUR 500 million and a nominal 40% growth in the Polish currency, of the volume of the underwritings compared to 2007, led by an 80% growth of the life business segment. However, based on the strong depreciation of the Polish zloty, the increase in EUR was only 5%, from EUR 4.5 billion to EUR 4.72 billion in the range noted.
Dutch insurer EUREKO failed to reach a settlement in court in the ongoing dispute over the privatization of Poland's top insurer PZU.
Click here to read more!
by, 25.03.2009

UNIQA reports 16% premium growth for 2008 in Czech Republic
UNIQA Pojistovna, which represents the Austrian Group UNIQA in the Czech Republic, has reported a preliminary premium growth of 15.7% to EUR 175 million for the year 2008.
Click here to read more!
by, 20.03.2009

Russian Travel Industry supports the compulsory travel insurance
The Association of Tourism Service Providers has proposed changing the Russian legislation by introducing compulsory insurance for tourists.
Click here to read more!
by, 19.03.2009

PZU interested in AIG assets
Poland's largest insurer, state-controlled PZU, is focused on taking over the operations of troubled AIG, rather than considering buying PKO BP shares, PZU's chief executive said on Monday.
Click here to read more!
by, 17.03.2009



Investors eying cheap assets in Romania
The recent significant decline in asset prices is increasingly attracting more companies interested in buying cheap firms and properties. This is the explanation of financial analysts to the surprising increase in foreign direct investments (FDI) in January, amid global crisis and a liquidity shortage.
Data released by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) shows that FDI rose to EUR 912 million in the first month of 2009, 51.2 percent higher year-on-year. By the end of 2008, FDI began declining, due to the financial crisis. Foreign investors brought only EUR 384 million to Romania in December. "Foreign companies started buying properties because these are becoming less expensive. In spite of the crisis, many companies know that they will have long-term profit," according to the former President of the Romanian Development Bank (BRD, currently owned by French SOCIETE GENERALE group), Bogdan BALTAZAR. "If FDI continues at a similar level, this would be a vote of confidence for the Romanian economy," he added. However, other economists disagree. "It is too soon, they have just started to become less expensive, and the degree of uncertainty is still high," the Managing Partner of FINANCIAL View consulting, Dragos CABAT, told Business Standard. According to the Chief Economist of BCR - Romanian Commercial Bank -, some EUR 200 million of FDI are made up by U.S. carmaker Ford's investments in Romania, a further EUR 100 million is reinvested profit, and the remainder is made up of business consolidation, acquisitions and investments
by, 16.03.2009

Day 8: Explosive growth on the Stock Exchange. BRD sets a record
"Explosive growth, the best session in months," is how brokers describe yesterday's session on the Stock Exchange, when BRD, the largest listed local bank, registered a 15 percent record growth. Issuers such as ERSTE Bank and the TRANSILVANIA Bank lender gained more than nine percent, the highest increases registered this year.
Increases on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) started eight days ago, and the BET-C index gained 16 percent in this period. The sharp increase of the main listed companies was not the only good news in yesterday's session, as the value of share transactions on the regulated market amounted to RON 19.6 million (EUR 4.5 million), the highest level reached in 2009. The BET index of the 10 most liquid companies gained 5.6 percent yesterday.
However, after this strong wave of growth, brokers expect corrections. "This is the logical thing that must happen after so many sessions of growth, and the macroeconomic climate in Romania is not yet showing clear signs of improvement," said Mihai CHISU, broker at IFB Finwest.
by, 20.03.2009

Constructions in Romania hike 26% last year y/y to EUR 14.3 billion
The volume of constructions in Romania increased last year by 26 percent over the previous one, to EUR 14.3 billion, but towards the yearend it started to feel the burden of the economic crisis, the head of the Constructions Entrepreneurs Association, Laurentiu PLOSCEANU, said.
Yet, the past year growth was in fact a 6 percent slowdown over the pace in 2006-2007, he added.
The field was affected by the lowering demand, the dropping prices and the rising unemployment, all caused by the economic crisis. Some 20,000 staff working in constructions was dismissed by the beginning of the year.
Moreover, the costs of architecture projects will decrease in the next period following a massive cut of real estate projects due to the economic crisis, but could prompt a lower quality, the vice president of architects' organization in Romania OAR Serban TIGANAS told NewsIn at the end of last month.
Architects deem a fast solution to reduce the effects of the economic crisis over the sector is for the authorities to attract money for public projects and to change the legislation for public acquisitions.
Once the financial crisis knocked on Romania's door, the real estate sector was among the first to feel the effects. The local construction market is expected to decrease by as much as 15 percent this year, with no new builds being started during the next two years. Analysts deem the market will only escape the financial crisis at the beginning of 2011.
by, 24.03.2009

BPO industry recruiting at 10% of last year's business
Main players in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in Romania plan to recruit about 300 people in the near future, according to the companies that recently participated in the "Top Employers" career event.
Human resource (HR) consultants say that recruitments plunged on the BPO market, due to the difficult economic context. "This year's recruitments are one tenth of those registered last year. Companies are trying to respond to recruitment needs by using internal employees within the HR department," Madalina POPESCU, General Manager of PLURI Consultants Romania, said.
WNS Global Services Romania intends to recruit 200 people by year-end, for positions in the financial-accountancy and customer service fields. WIPRO Romania plans to hire some 50 people by June, for technical-specialized positions. Further criteria include German language, acquisitions, order management, team leader, and transition management. Alexandra PETRESCU, Recruitment Executive of WIPRO Romania, said the company provides salaries above market average for rare foreign languages.
GENPACT Romania currently has 30 vacancies in the IT, financial-accountancy, procurement, and customer service fields.
by, 24.03.2009

German carmaker AUDI pumps EUR 25 million this year to expand in Romania
AUDI, produced by VOLKSWAGEN, Europe's largest carmaker, will dole out more than EUR 25 million this year to expand the local network by five new sale and service centers and to recruit specialists, despite the economic downturn, the company's brand manager, Mihai HALMAGIANU, told NewsIn.
The five centers will be located in Bucharest, in the southeastern city of Constanta, in the eastern city of Iasi, in the southern city of Craiova and in the western city of Timisoara. The units in Constanta and Iasi will be ready around June and July. This way, AUDI will count 16 centers in Romania by year-end.
The auto maker will spend EUR 500,000 in 2009 to upgrade employees and to recruit specialists for the units countrywide, according to HALMAGIANU.
Audi will release four new car models this year, including Audi A5 Cabriolet. The company also aims to expand the car portfolio to 45 models by 2015.
The carmaker is present in more than 100 countries and counts 57,000 employees, of which 45,000 in Germany. Its headcount in Romania currently stands at 700.
by, 18.03.2009





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

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



XPRIMM Newsletters


President: Sergiu COSTACHE CEO: Adriana PANCIU
Business Development Director: Alexandru D. CIUNCAN

Editor in Chief: Mihaela CIRCU
Scientific Advisor: Daniela GHETU
International Column Coordinator: Andreea IONETE
Senior Editors: Vlad PANCIU, Oleg DORONCEANU
Editors: Vlad BOLDIJAR, Oana NECULA, Mihai CRACEA, Andreea STATE, Eugen SPIVACENCO
Junior Editor: Marian MARDARE
General Secretary: Lidia POP

Accounts Manager: Georgiana OPREA
IT Department: Octavian GRIGOR, Dorin PALADE, Cosmin ARMASESCU



Reproduction or use without permission of editorial or graphic content, in any manner, is prohibited. The Editorial Staff is not responsible for the truthfulness or the accuracy of the presented data. The Editorial Staff has the right to present the data in it's own manner. In what concerns the use, in any manner, of the information contained in this e-mail, Romanian laws apply.

Copyright©2009 MEDIA XPRIMM

XPRIMM News - The Romanian Insurance Market Newsletter is best viewed with an active Internet connection.
Click here to subscribe!

Click here to unsubscribe!