The World Bank suggests Bulgaria be part of a regional catastrophe insurance
The World Bank experts believe that Bulgaria has already matured and is
now ready to introduce the program management of catastrophic risk insurance.
Also, the World Bank suggests Bulgaria be part of a regional catastrophe
insurance pool, together with Romania, Macedonia, Serbia and Albania. This
announcement was made recently, during a workshop in Borovets by the World
Bank's top expert in catastrophic insurance risks - Eugene GURENKO.
According to the expert, the establishment of tailored
catastrophe insurance pools proves to be an ineffective practice for small
countries such as Bulgaria. It is better and more effective to establish
a regional catastrophe insurance pool covering some 10-15 countries and
several risks such as earthquake, floods and landslides. Under this approach,
insurance is provided not only to homes of individuals, but also to small
and medium-sized enterprises and their property. The approach applied in
this case can be described as "semi-compulsory" insurance, as
the government undertakes the task to encourage people to get insured. The
program is managed by local insurance companies, selected in tender by the
World Bank, and its seat of headquarters is in Switzerland.
Bulgaria and the Balkans peninsula is the second strongest earthquake zone
on the earth (after Japan and the Kamchatka Peninsula). The economic losses
following up earthquake in Sofia only would amount to EUR 5 billion. At
the same time only 6-7 houses out of 100 are insured in Bulgaria, which
reveals an extremely low penetration rate.
According to Florian FICHTL, Country Manager of the World Bank
a strong earthquake would cost Bulgaria 18% of its GDP or half of the annual
At the same time, scientific evidence indicates that the occurrence of medium
to strong earthquake is inevitable in the next few decades.
This regional catastrophe insurance pool proposed by World Bank's expert
is already under construction "it is for the Bulgarian government to
decide whether it will join the regional facility or will create a national
pool", GURENKO said.
If it decides to join the regional program, the government must commit to
participate as a shareholder and to regulate this by law. The price of such
insurance policy cannot be specified exactly at this stage of the regional
catastrophe insurance pool, but according to gross estimates the compensation
would be approximately EUR 50,000, the annual insurance contribution would
be between EUR 20 and EUR 30, depending on each building's profile and characteristics
- old, new, brick, wood, etc.
by insurance.bg, 10.06.2008
ERGO enters the Belarussian market
International insurance ERGO has purchased a 60% stake in the Belarussian
insurer BASO. ERGO Lietuva (Lithuania) and ERGO Kindlustuse (Estonia),
members of ERGO Group, acquired a 20% interest each, and ERGO International
bought the rest 20%, according to RP Newsline.
ERGO Group became the shareholder of BASO in 2007, after purchasing a 1%
stake in it, and raised its share to 60% in January, 2008, the company explained.
The company's top-management did not change, and Augustas SERNIUS, former
advisor to the CEO of ERGO Lietuva, joined its board, a source at BASO said.
BASO specializes in non-life insurance. In January-March 2008 it ranked
14th among 18 insurers operating in the Belarussian non-life market. In
the reporting period the insurer wrote EUR 10,000 in premiums and paid EUR
in claims. BASO's equity totaled EUR 1.3 million, including nearly EUR 0.7
million in money terms.
MUNICH Re is its majority shareholder of ERGO, with a 94.7% share. ERGO
Group is present in 22 European markets and has 33 million customers in
Europe. In 2007 premium of ERGO came to EUR 17.4 billion. The international
operations premium amounted to EUR 3.8 billion, accounting for 22% of the
group's total premium.
Russian life market - a priority for AVIVA
The Russian life insurance market is among key for AVIVA, due to high GDP
per capita and low penetration of life products, the British insurer reported
in May. AVIVA estimates the potential of the Russian market at US 6-7 billion.
In Russia, AVIVA is represented by its subsidiary AVIVA, which started operations
in 2006. In Q1 2008, AVIVA generated EUR 10.1 million in premiums, over
a tenfold increase compared with the same period of the previous year, and
paid out EUR 0.36 million in claims, eight times up from January-March 2007.
In Q1 2007, AVIVA's gross written premiums totaled EUR 0.99 million and
losses settled amounted to 43 thousands.
"In less than two years, AVIVA became third largest foreign player of the
Russian market and ranked fifth among Russian life insurers. The company's market
share rose from 0.82% in 2007 to 5.1% in Q1 2008 and the number of clients exceeded
700,000", Andrew MOSS, CEO, AVIVA Group, noted.
MOSS pointed out that the development of the international business is one
of AVIVA's priority goals. Presently, operations outside Great Britain account
for 60% of AVIVA's business. Notable, the group shows the keenest interest
in the BRIC countries (especially Russia, India and China).
On the Russian market, the company focuses on corporate insurance services,
including voluntary pension programs, corporate workers' compensation insurance,
life bancassurance, as well as private endowment life and accident insurance.
AVIVA specializes in long-term life, non-life insurance and asset management.
In 2007, its total written premiums and investments reached EUR 54.3 billion.
As of March 31, 2008, assets under AVIVA's management came to EUR 491 billion.
by RP newsline, 2.06.2007
New players on the Ukrainian medical insurance market
Israel-based insurer PHOENIX, the second company on the medical insurance
market, has purchased 50% plus one share of the Ukrainian insurer INTERTRANSPOLIS
from MIDLAND. The initial investment comes to USD 12 million, according
to RP Newsline.
The rest 50% of the shares will control MIDLAND. The companies will jointly
make future investments in equal shares in the venture as needed for its
development. A joint board of directors will take strategic decisions.
This will be the first acquisition for the PHOENIX outside the country,
after the initiative for purchasing the Romanian company ABC in 2007 has
PHOENIX considers that the medical insurance market in Ukraine is developing
and has a great potential for growth. The company tried in the previous
year to establish a company specializing in this class, but the negotiations
conducted with local company ORANTA gave no results.
Established in 2001, InterTransPolis writes non-life insurance to individuals
and companies, providing motor, property, mortgage, health and traveler's
insurance. In January-September 2007 the company generated EUR 2.8 million
and paid out EUR 1 million.
PHOENIX Insurance Company is controlled by DELEK Investments & Properties,
DELEK Capital, Mayer's Cars & Trucks in proportion of 79.76% of the
shares and the rest 24% is owned by several minority shareholders.
In 2007, the company wrote premiums of USD 813 million, with a profit of
USD 123.2 million.
by email@example.com, 10.06.2008
UNIQA eyes top of Bulgarian insurance market
The Bulgarian unit of Austrian insurance group UNIQA is targeting the first
place on the local life insurance market by the end of 2008, and the third
spot on the general insurance segment, the company said during a presentation
of its performance in 2007 and the first quarter of this year, according
The Bulgarian unit of the company ranked as the nation's 7th biggest general
insurer and 3rd biggest life insurer at the end of 2007.
The general and life insurance arms of the company combined for a premium
income of EUR 60.3 million last year, up 44% over 2006. The life insurance
premiums added up to EUR 15.3 million, up 94% year-on-year, while the general
insurance premiums gained 32% to EUR 45 million. Net profit came to EUR
347.5 thousands, rising 43% year-on-year.
Austrian-based UNIQA reported total premiums of EUR 1.6 billion in Q1/2008,
up to 13,4% compared to similar period a year ago.
The biggest increase was recorded in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, where
the insurer collected gross premiums of EUR 288 million, a raise by 53.2%
and holds a share of 17.6% in total premiums.
UNIQA operates on the markets of Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia,
Ukraine, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Bulgaria and
is present in Romania since 2005, when he bought a stake in ASTRA Insurance.
Recently, the Austrian group announced its intention to buy from VIENNA
Insurance Group 100% of the shares of Romanian insurance company UNITA.
by firstname.lastname@example.org, 18.06.2008
VIG to invest EUR 50 million in Serbia
Insurance company WIENER Stadtische Serbia, part of leading VIENNA Insurance
Group (VIG), plans to invest EUR 50 million in Serbia for development of
operations by the year 2011, said company's representatives, according
Some EUR 42 million will be used for achieving new headquarters in Novi
Beograd, member of the Managing Board of WIENER Stadtische Christoph RAT
said. The insurer also plans to invest another EUR 5 million in setting
up a reinsurance company in Serbia.
WIENER Stadtische has entered the Serbian market in 2003, by founding a
daughter company Wiener Stadtische Osiguranje Beograd. The company achieved
the 4th place on the local insurance market, and is the No. 1 insurance
company in life insurance. Growth rate of the gross written insurance premium
amounted to 48.54% in 2007 and the number of signed insurance contracts
were also increased by 86.6%.
WIENER Stadtische Serbia expects a 40% growth in premiums this year, to
EUR 58 million, Managing Board President Branko KRSTONOSIC said.
VIENNA Insurance Group reported a total amount of written premiums for the
CEE region at EUR 1.020 billion (44.1% of the group's premium), a 35.7%
increase in comparison with Q1/2007. Life premium totaled EUR 259 million,
up 43.8% while non-life premium amounted to EUR 761 million, a 33.2% increase.
The group's profits (before taxes) came to EUR 44 million, a growth of 25.9%.
by email@example.com, 19.06.2008