James GRINDLEY, General Manager, CertAsig
We are pleased to confirm an excellent start to Q1 2011. February and March were both excellent months and showed growing levels of GWP. The underwriting portfolio continued to diversify with more, low loss ratio products so that the profitability of underlying business improved.
XPRIMM: How was the first quarter of 2011 for the company? How did the underwritings evolve and what was the main positive evolution? Based on these results, what do you expect from 2011?
James GRINDLEY: We are pleased to confirm an excellent start to Q1 2011. February and March were both excellent months and showed growing levels of GWP. The underwriting portfolio continued to diversify with more, low loss ratio products so that the profitability of underlying business improved. Brokers continue to produce more than 80% of our GWP and we are delighted with their loyal support. Business from our Constanta, Timisoara and Cluj branches continues to develop positively. Corporate and SME clients continue to be our focus sourced through brokers.
XPRIMM: The motor segment has no longer been the “growth engine" of the market, on the contrary, the Motor Hull decrease is one of the most significant negative evolution in 2010. What do you think are the 2011 trends on the motor insurance class?
J. G.: The Romanian market saw a significant decrease in motor CASCO GWP in 2010. If the motor market - and especially the leasing segment will be recover, motor CASCO GWP will surely increase in 2011. CERTASIG’s motor CASCO GWP in Q1 2011 reduced mainly because of our tougher underwriting approach to deductibles. Our goal is to be one of the cheapest motor CASCO insurers in Romania, but only where policyholders accept higher deductibles. This approach means that we are more selective with our CASCO clients.
XPRIMM: How do you counteract the negative effects induced by the motor evolution at company level? What are the main directions that you will follow regarding the products offer?
J. G.: To diversify the portfolio with non-CASCO products and to handle claims very carefully, being attentive to possible fraudulent CASCO claims.
XPRIMM: Household insurance is seen as the opportunity of 2011. However, the degree of insurance coverage is still extremely low, which means that the voluntary policies did not receive the expected impetus, either. What do you think the evolution of this segment will be and what is the company’s strategy in this regard?
J. G.: CERTASIG is a corporate insurer so home insurance GWP will not increase dramatically, although we note that it tends to be a profitable class.
XPRIMM: Will there be, from the insurers’ part, rates increases on the property class or on any other insurance lines in the near future?
J. G.: We sincerely hope that there will be an increase in property tariffs, as well as tougher terms and conditions. We see competitors frequently offering commercial property policies at very low premium levels without deductibles for fire losses which we feel are not healthy for the market.
Motor CASCO insurers need to also impose discipline and maintain reasonable deductible levels. It is not sustainable to offer zero deductibles.
XPRIMM: CERTASIG has recently presented to its partners the Bonds product, a niche product designed to support the corporate business. How did clients receive this product and what other niche products for the corporate market wish to promote in the next period?
J. G.: The feedback from the market for our new Bond Insurance products was very positive. CERTASIG is one of very few insurers offering such products. We also have fantastic reinsurance security supporting this specialist product.
We shall continue to pioneer new products in the future and plan to offer brokers more product workshops in the near future. Recently we held a broker seminar at the British Ambassador’s official residence followed by a business lunch.
We aim to introduce some new transport and cargo-related products in the near future.
We have recently offered a highly innovative product “Wedding Insurance”. Coverage can be adapted to include any of the following risks: physical damage, liabilities, cancellation and personal accident. Although the premiums are relatively small this product is designed on a case-by-case basis to address the specific risks of a wedding day celebration; although joyous occasions, wedding days can be quite stressful so insurance helps to reduce such stress! We do not cover the risk of the bride or groom changing their mind on the wedding day!
| Published on 19.05.2011