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Interview of the week

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Elisabeta GJONI, Chairperson, Albanian FSA


In 2010 the insurance market structure was dominated by compulsory motor insurances with 52% of the overall market premiums, while voluntary insurances take up 48% of the market structure. In 2007, compulsory motor insurances dominated the market structure with about 65% of the overall gross written premiums; nevertheless the high growth dynamics of voluntary insurance in the last three years has impacted the market structure significantly, causing the motor compulsory insurance to gradually lose its dominance in the market.

XPRIMM: How do you assess the evolution of the Albanian insurance market in 2010 compared to 2009?
Elisabeta GJONI: The Albanian insurance market has experienced high and consistent growth rates during the last years, averaging as high as 20% for the last three years. In 2010 the growth rate was about 4%, which should be seen positively in the context of an overall economic slowdown, followed by a slight decrease in the number of contracts by 2.6% compared with year 2009. The market continued to be dominated by Non-Life insurance, constituting 89% of the total premium volume.
In 2010 the insurance market structure was dominated by compulsory motor insurances with 52% of the overall market premiums, while voluntary insurances take up 48% of the market structure. In 2007, compulsory motor insurances dominated the market structure with about 65% of the overall gross written premiums; nevertheless the high growth dynamics of voluntary insurance in the last three years has impacted the market structure significantly, causing the motor compulsory insurance to gradually lose its dominance in the market.
Life insurance experienced as much as 17% growth in gross written premiums in 2010, continuing the trend of the recent years, despite the small share life premiums have in the overall market structure.

XPRIMM: How did the financial crisis affect the Albanian insurance market?
E.G.: The financial crisis did not have a direct impact on the insurance sector in Albania. However due to a slowdown in the economy, the insurance sector in Albania during the financial turmoil experienced a slight decrease in growth rates but managed to maintain a positive growth on average. Some of the reasons that the financial turmoil did not have direct impact on Albanian insurers are such as the market structure mainly dominated by compulsory insurance, a resilient banking sector to the crisis, the lack of complex products in the market, an investment policy oriented toward liquid investments and no capital market exposure as well as lack of problem transfer by strategic investors to their subsidiaries in the Albanian market.

XPRIMM: What are the development perspectives for 2011?
E.G.: Among the main challenges for the Albanian insurance market for the years to come remains the improvement of the market structure in favour of voluntary insurance as well as introduction of new voluntary products to meet the market demands. The progress in the health sector reform, might significantly impact the market structure. Another important aspect is the claims handling process, especially in the light of the new legal changes which provide for the policyholders to have more rights in claiming, especially when it comes to nonmaterial claims. One very important development is the revision of the entire insurance legislation in the light of the EU-accession process, where the main focus and the most attention is being given to the freedom to provide services requirement, MTPL liberalization, introduction of the elements of the new financial regulation approach in order to keep up with the global and European trends and moving towards a risk-based supervision.


Editor: Vlad BOLDIJAR | Published on 23.06.2011






















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