The Czech Republic is the second largest market in the CEE region in terms of GWP volume, after Poland, and has one of the highest insurance penetration degrees in GDP in the region. This means that an increase of only a few percentage points in premiums or claims can be the equivalent to a change of tens or even hundreds of millions in Euros.
A good example to show the real size of the Czech insurance market is the year 2010, when the overall market increased by 14.3% compared to 2009. In absolute terms, the market recorded an increase of EUR 778 million in just one year.
While the graphical representation of the available data shows smooth fluctuations in the market, the actual value of y-o-y changes in the Czech market can be almost twice as large as the total GWP of a small size country.
Contrary to most CEE markets' evolution, which collapsed in the first years after the global crisis, the Czech insurance market has skyrocketed between 2008-2010. The overall market recorded an increase in total premiums of EUR 1.2 billion (+ 22.8%), which is the highest y-o-y growth from the whole decade. This positive evolution is given by the simultaneous growth of both life and non-life sectors, the biggest contribution being brought by the first one.
In 2010, life insurance recorded an increase of 37.0% in premium volume, compared to 2008 level. This translates into a growth of EUR 774 million for life insurance, while non-life grew with EUR 382 million. 2010 could be considered the peak year in the timeline, when the market counted EUR 6,224 million in GWP.
The years that followed showed more dynamism. 2011 recorded decreases in all market segments, especially motor insurance, which faced a downturn of 9.5% (- EUR 146 million). 2012 showed an improvement in the market, brought by the positive evolution of life insurance, which grew by 2.7% (+ EUR 75 million). 2012 was also the year life insurance recorded the highest market share - 46.9% of the whole market (while the remaining 53.1% was split between non-life classes).
Starting in 2013, life and non-life sectors started to move in opposite directions, mirroring each other's trends up until 2015. These 3 years reflect a period of decline in the market, caused by this counterbalancing movement. Life insurance maintained a negative trend and, because of its larger share in market, it canceled any possible positive market outcomes brought by the increasing non-life segments. Life insurance dragged down the whole market's results.
By the end of 2016, non-life insurance lined up with life insurance, both segments decreasing. The same alignment was respected in 2017 too, both sectors increasing in GWP this time.
The non-life sector was composed of 70-74% property and motor insurance. The remaining 26-30% of non-life sector indicated that other non-life classes were blooming as well. Around 44.1 - 55.5% of total claims were from life insurance, while 44.5 - 56.0% were non-life insurance claims.