Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/16/2014 -- As of early 2014, our overall impression is that Romania's insurance sector remains resilient in face of a number of challenges. In spite of the general softness of the economy and sales of cars in particular, there has not been a sharp contraction in non-life premiums. Premiums in the life segment have held up fairly well too, suggesting that - for those Romanians who can afford the regular premiums - life insurance is valued as a conduit for their savings.
BMI's new insurance report format provides forecasts of the life and non-life markets, including gross and net premiums, reinsurance premiums and assets. Moreover, it provides forecasts for key growth drivers such as vehicle fleet size, demographic factors and private health expenditure. The report also contains a comprehensive breakdown of the non-life insurance market, providing forecasts for motor and transport insurance, property, personal accident, health, general liability and credit insurance. Finally, the new report offers a detailed breakdown of the life and non-life competitive landscapes, covering the top companies present in each segment by premiums and market share.
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As of late 2013, the overall impression of Romania's insurance sector is one of resilience. Some countries in Central and Eastern Europe have suffered double-digit drops in non-life premiums. Others have endured similar contractions in their life segments. Romania does not fall into either category. In short, the insurance sector has withstood a number of challenges, including the softness of the overall economy and sales of cars in particular.
As was the case in 2012, voluntary motor hull insurance (CASCO) premiums fell in 2013. However, this appears to have been offset by growth in compulsory motorists' third-party liability (CMTPL) and other, smaller lines. Competitive pressures in motor-related lines have increased.
VIG and Allianz, the two leading (composite) multi-national groups who regularly provide details of their operations in Romania indicated they had endured high combined ratios during 2012. The challenge persisted for VIG into 2013. That company has responded to the generally difficult conditions by restructuring its portfolio of business and its non-life operations in Romania. In the non-life segment, Omniasig and BCR now operate as a single entity under the Omniasig VIG brand.
Life premiums held up in 2012, before falling slightly in 2013. The main challenge appears to have been a contraction in sales of unit-linked products. Our conclusion is that life insurance is reasonably firmly entrenched as a conduit for organised savings where households can afford to buy it. However, for much of 2012 and 2013, savers and investors have been fairly risk averse at a time of difficult economic conditions and generally volatile financial markets.
Key BMI Forecasts
- In 2014, total premiums will fall by 2.3% to US$2.2bn.
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