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Signal Iduna and Otto Broker Have Launched an Insurance with 1,700 Procedures and Medical Tests
The German insurance company Signal Iduna, in partnership with Otto Broker, has launched a health insurance product, which includes over 1,700 medical procedures and tests in clinics and private hospitals in Romania. The health insurance, Signal Med, covers consultations, investigations, laboratory tests and surgical procedures in private clinics in the country. The insured can choose the medical services provider from more than 300 private clinics and hospitals included in Signal Mediqa Net, the payment of the medical services being made directly between the Signal Iduna and the supplier. Also, the person insured benefits from quick access to any medical service included in the insurance through the Call Center specialized services provided by Signal Iduna. In the case of a surgical hospital procedure, the insured will be accommodated in the special private rooms of the clinic or hospital concerned. Two additional insurances Signal Control and Signal HospitAll can be added to the basic product. Signal Control provides the insured the possibility to perform an annual preventive control to monitor the health, and through Signal HospitAll the insured receives, in case of hospitalization or surgical intervention performed within a state or private hospital, a fixed amount that covers the additional costs related to his medical needs. The two companies run the joint information campaign "How much do you value your health?" in the major malls in Romania. Signal Iduna is one of the leaders of the German insurance market, with over 13 million customers. Since 2008, Signal Iduna is also present in Romania, offering integrated and customized life, health and accident insurances to companies. Otto Broker is one of the most important independent players on the insurance brokerage market in Romania.(October 25th 2011)

A quarter of the EUR 4bn worth assets of insurers are invested abroad
Insurance companies owned at the end of the last year assets abroad with a cumulated value of RON 4.6bn (about EUR 1.1bn), representing over 27% of total assets in their management, according to data of the annual report of the Insurance Supervisory Commission. ING Asigurari, the largest company on the life insurance market, had in its portfolio most foreign assets, of approximately RON 1.3bn, most of them being investments related to unit-linked policies (life insurances with investment component). Germany’s Allianz-Tiriac had foreign assets of RON 145mln at the end of December 2010, while Alico (former AIG Life) recorded assets of RON 165mln. Investments of over RON 100mln also had Generali and Asirom. A total of 14 insurance companies had assets abroad at the end of the last year, up from 11 companies in 2009. (August 29th 2011)

BCR Asigurari’s revenues from premiums increased to RON 231.5mln
BCR Asigurari had in the first half subscriptions from premiums of RON 231.56mln, down 2.2% against the same period of 2010, according to company data. Broken down, CASCO insurances posted the largest share in company’s portfolio, subscriptions totaling RON 105.75mln, from RON 85.74mln in June 2010. In terms of auto liability insurance, they dropped on the second place, because of lower revenues (a decrease from RON 103.78mln to RON 67.11mln). Fire and natural disaster insurances (class VIII) rank the third, with premiums subscribed of RON 40.17mln, up by 16.5% against the level posted in January – June 2010. Compensation paid to insured persons fell by 6.7%, to RON 162.01mln. With a registered capital of RON 123.39mln, BCR Asigurari started its activity in 2005. The main shareholder is the Austrian group Vienna Insurance Group (VIG), which owns 95.93% of company’s share capital. Last year, the subscriptions of BCR Asigurari fell by 6.7%, to RON 522.01mln, result that brought to the company a share of 6.29% of the profile industry, ranking the seventh. In July the shareholders of BCR Asigurari and Omniasig approved the preliminary merger of the two companies, process in which Omniasig will be acquired. VIG owns a stake of 98.86% of Omniasig capital. By taking over Omniasig, BCR Asigurari will become the largest local player in the profile industry. (August 22nd 2011)

Allianz revenues in the Region climbed to EUR 2.1bn
Allianz reported yesterday solid results for its business in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) related to the first six months of 2011. Total revenues reached EUR 2,072mln. Operating profit climbed 54%, to EUR 144mln, compared with EUR 941mln in the same period last year. The net profit doubled, reaching EUR 120mln, from EUR 601mln in January – June 2010. While Allianz’ operations in Hungary and Romania recorded lower levels of revenues because of market contraction and fierce competition at price level because of difficult economic conditions, Allianz recorded significant increases in revenues on other markets, especially in the Czech Republic, Poland and Russia. “The positive evolution of Allianz business in CEE not only in terms of total revenues, but also considering the evolution of the operating and net profits shows that we are on the right track and we have a robust business model”, declared Manuel Bauer, member of Allianz SE Board, responsible with markets under development. General insurance activity in CEE recorded gross premiums written of EUR 1,398mln, in slight increase in H1 2011, compared with EUR 1,390mln in January-June 2010. The half-yearly operating profit of general insurance business in the entire region amounted to EUR 82mln, indicating a growth of 46%, compared with EUR 56mln in H1 2010. (August 12th 2011)

Insurers’ losses declined by 60% last year
The net result of the insurance industry in 2010 indicates losses of RON 41.37mln, down 59.9% against the level posted at the end of the last year, according to data presented in the annual report of the Insurance Supervisory Commission (CSA) published on the website of the institution. In 2009, the net losses of insurers totaled RON 103.22mln, down from RON 582.46mln a year ago. According to CSA data, the companies’ losses totaled RON 276.64mln last year, while the profits cumulated RON 235.27mln. (July 20th 2011)

Carpatica Asig competes with PAID, with a housing policy of EUR 20
Carpatica, a top ten company on the general insurance market, sells by the end of the month housing insurance policies with a EUR 20 premium for an amount insured of EUR 20,000, which covers besides the damages produced by natural phenomena the home floods, liability to third parties or the expenses with replacing the home goods. The product directly competes with the mandatory insurance policy issued by the Insurance Pool Against Disasters (PAID), which costs EUR 10 or EUR 20 at an amount insured of EUR 10,000, respectively EUR 20,000. Carpatica Asigurari is also shareholder of PAID. The mandatory housing insurance law was changed at the end of the last year and the owners who have a facultative insurance that covers the risks of earthquake, flood or landslide don’t have to buy a mandatory policy. Several companies, including Astra or Euroins, have in their portfolio similar products with mandatory policy. (July 11th 2011)

PAID has supplemented the reinsurance contract with EUR 100mln, to EUR 300mln
PAID, the company that issues the policies for the mandatory home insurance has renewed the reinsurance contract, supplementing it at the same time with EUR 100mln, compared with the previous contract, up to EUR 300mln. Initially, the reinsurance program concluded in July 2010, when the first policies were issued, amounted to EUR 100mln, level that subsequently increased to EUR 200mln. PAID retention, under the reinsurance contract, is of EUR 250,000 for an event. “If an event occurs, if the PAID retention is exceeded, the compensations are paid after the receipt of corresponding amounts from the reinsurance. Thus, PAID will not be forced to pay funds from own sources. To ensure the diversity and reliability of reinsurance companies, it’s imposed a rating level of minimum A-, provided by the agencies Standard&Poor’s and AM Best”. The leader of the reinsurance program for 2011/2012 is Sirius Re, company recognized worldwide for the reinsurance of natural disasters risks. According to the company, the supplementation was required considering the increase of the portfolio of policies issued. (July 6th 2011)

Alico subscriptions recorded a 7.1% growth last year
The subscriptions of Alico Insurance Romania increased by 7.1% last year, above the market average of 2.3%, up to over RON 205mln. At the same time, the company’s gross profit exceeded RON 81mln, the highest at the level of insurance industry, according to company data. “The growth posted last year was supported by the projects launched in 2009, when we expanded the distribution lines and the types of products. (…). The results of these initiatives were visible last year and continue in 2011. Both in 2010 and in the previous period our projects were based on a strategy of profitable growth, paying attention to market opportunities”, declared the general manager of Alico Insurance Romania, Theodor Alexandrescu. The main competitors of Alico Romania are ING Life Insurance and BCR Life Insurance. The general and life insurance market declined last year by 6.36%, to RON 8.31bn. In the case of life policies, subscriptions advanced by 2.3%, to RON 1.67bn. (June 8th 2011)

The Portfolios of Life Insurers Reached EUR 1.3bn at the End of March
Life insurance companies reached assets of RON 5.4bn (EUR 1.3bn) at the end of March, up with 18% over the corresponding period last year, according to the data of the Insurance Supervisory Commission (CSA). A third of the assets are invested in government securities and 40% of the amounts are placed in stocks, corporate bonds and fund units. The cumulated value of the investments in bank deposits was of RON 490mln, meaning 9% of the total, almost half compared to the level recorded in March 2010. About RON 2bn were investments related to unit-linked insurance (life insurance related to investment funds). The risks assumed by insurers on this segment are higher, so that the amounts invested in stocks, corporate bonds and fund units account for 80% of the total. The value of these investments increased last year by 26%. For traditional insurances, the insurers have increased the share of government securities from 46% to 52% of the total portfolio. The Gross written premiums of traditional policies increased in Q1 2011 by 13.6%, to RON 263mln. Instead, the subscriptions for unit-linked insurance have declined by 10.5%, up to RON 161mln. (June 6th 2011)

Life and health insurances have taken a bite out of Allianz’s business
German insurance group Allianz subscribed in Central and Eastern Europe gross premiums worth a total of EUR 1.057bn in Q1 2011, down 5% against last year, because of the decline recorded by life and health insurances. Total value of gross premiums written reached the level of EUR 1.057bn, compared with EUR 1.115bn in the first quarter of the past year. The 5% decrease is highly caused by the life and health insurance segment, which last year benefited from the unique effects manifested in some markets. In the first three months of the year, Allianz attracted over 100,000 new customers, currently reaching 7.5mln customers in Central and Eastern Europe. Against the first quarter of last year, Allianz managed to increase its database of clients by over 5 percentage points. The operating profit remained at the level reached in the previous year, of EUR 65mln. Broken down, the gross premiums written on the general insurance segment reached the value of EUR 774mln in Q1 2011, compared with EUR 782mln in the same period of the previous year. Adjusted with the effects of the exchange rate variation, the level of premiums of the general insurance segment has decreased by 1%. The decrease of the gross premiums written was mainly determined by the fierce competition on the auto insurance market, which led to a decrease of the average premium, mainly in Hungary and in Romania. (May 30th 2011)

Insurers Have Paid Triple Compensation for Property Damages in Q1
The member companies of UNSAR, the professional association of insurers in Romania, paid in the first quarter compensation of almost RON 91 million (EUR 22 million) for the damages caused by fires and natural disasters, three times over the level recorded in the corresponding period last year. The compensation paid on this segment in the period January-March 2010 stood at RON 29.7 million. UNSAR members hold a market share of over 80% on the fire insurance and natural disasters segment. "There is a tendency in recent years to increase the amount and frequency of the compensation on the property segment. I think this growth comes rather from the corporate segment, given that this year the damage for the fire at Dragonul Rosu shopping center was paid”, the largest on the domestic market in the last two years”, Cristian Fugaciu, the general manager of Marsh, one of the largest insurance brokers, said. Generali, a company in the top ten companies on the insurance market, paid in March a compensation of over RON 55 million to Niro Investment company, which owns the shopping center Dragonul Rosu in the Capital, heavily damaged by a fire last summer. Also, the gross premiums written by UNSAR members from the fire and natural disasters policies have increased by 25% in the first three months compared to the same period in 2010 and reached RON 262 million (EUR 62 million). The compensation paid for such policies represents about one third of the premiums underwritten by insurers. UNSAR insurance companies have subscribed premiums of RON 428 million on Casco policies and paid damages of RON 425 million on this segment. "It is a more profitable segment for insurers because the frequency of damages is lower compared to auto insurances", Fugaciu said. (May 19th 2011)

VIG stepped into the red in Romania in Q1
Austrian insurer Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) recorded in the first quarter a loss of EUR 5mln in Romania, compared with a profit before taxes of EUR 7.4mln in the same period last year, while gross premiums written decreased by 2%, to EUR 144.5mln. In the first three months of the last year, VIG subscribed in Romania gross premiums of EUR 144.3mln in January-March last year to EUR 143.8mln, according to VIG’s financial report. The value of premiums written on general insurance segment dropped by 3.3% in the analyzed interval, from EUR 121.4mln to EUR 117.4mln, while life insurance posted a growth of 4.3%, from EUR 26mln to EUR 27.1mln. Net premiums written by VIG in Romania decreased in the first quarter by 1.6%, from EUR 135.2mln last year to EUR 133mln. Operating expenses plunged from EUR 38.3mln to EUR 37.8mln. Group’s total expenses advanced in Q1 from EUR 137mln to EUR 148.7mln. At group level, VIG posted a net profit of EUR 109mln, up 8% from EUR 101mln in Q1 2010. The value of gross premiums written in Q1 climbed by 3%, from EUR 2.53bn to EUR 2.6bn. The Austrian group controls on the local market four insurance companies, namely. Asirom, Omniasig, BCR Asigurari and BCR Asigurari de Viata. (May 18th 2011)

The largest European insurer to announce on Thursday its strategy for the Romanian market
French giant AXA, the largest European insurer, will officially launch on Thursday its operations in Romania, following to announce the strategy that the group prepared for the local market. The insurer entered the Romanian market at the beginning of the last year, when it acquired Omniasig Life, a small-sized player in life insurance, from Vienna Insurance Group (VIG). The value of the transaction was estimated at no more than EUR 10mln. But market sources say that the insurer has a budget of EUR 1mln only for the advertising campaign to be implemented after the official launch of the operations. The French dealt in the last year with the creation of a distribution network and the development of the product portfolio and installed a new management team at the company that they acquired in the spring of 2010. AXA recruited for the position of President of the local subsidiary Violeta Ciurel, former head of ING Asigurari, who in the last years worked on a managing position at the headquarters in Amsterdam of the Dutch group. (May 10th 2011)

Lower Profit for "ING Asigurari de Viata” (ING Life Insurance)
ING Life Insurance has achieved a gross profit of RON 11.26 million in the first quarter, compared with the amount of RON 15.8 million recorded in the same period last year. "This result was expected, being influenced on one hand by some of the projects to increase profits and customer service made in this period, and on the other hand by the investments in the development of distribution channels and improvement of the professionalism of the salesmen", reads a statement of the company. The value of the financial assets under management has reached RON 2.083 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2011, up by 8.4% compared to the same period last year. The volume of gross premiums underwritten by ING Life Insurance in the first three months of the year marked a relatively constant evolution compared to RON 135.9 million in the same period of 2010, being at the level of RON 133.5 million. According to company representatives, the slight variation comes from the lower number of unit-linked contracts with unique premium sold in the first quarter. (May 6th 2011)

Euroins wants to step into the black in 2011
Euroins Romania aims to subscribe insurance premiums amounting to RON 369.5mln, by 20% more than in 2010, and to achieve a positive result, after last year losses were halved, to RON 4.2mln. In 2010 the company’s subscriptions reached RON 301.02mln, according to data submitted to the National Union of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies in Romania (UNSAR). The largest part of the revenues from premiums came from auto liability policies (RCA) – RON 264.26mln, their share in total subscriptions increasing from 82.9% to 87.8%, evolution that placed Euroins the third in the top of RCA insurers, after Astra and Carpatica Asig. In the Casco segment, the company subscribed premiums amounting to RON 24.76mln, from RON 35.12mln in 2009, evolution that is part of the trend recorded by the profile market. Euroins management says that this year the company will not use the RCA policy as a main vector for increasing the volume of this year’s subscriptions, but on the contrary, will focus its attention on property policies, liability, accident and health, following to launch new policies from their classes. “In 2011 Euroins will rely on a reduction of car insurances below 80% of the subscribed premiums. In terms of property insurances, it’s estimated a share of 10% of the premiums written”, the insurer shows. In terms of compensations, Euroins has paid indemnities of RON 182.5mln, 22% over the level recorded in 2009. For this year the revenues and expenditures level provides the payment of compensations of RON 200mln. (May 3rd 2011)