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Interview of the week

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Radu MANOLIU, Deputy General Manager, CREDIT Europe Asigurari


The insurance market will follow the global trend of decline, although it will not be equally affected as the mature Western markets; in the absence of emphasis and perpetuation of the current global financial crisis, the one aspect that could really destabilize the Romanian profile market could only be represented by the unwanted withdrawal from Romania of the big insurers.

XPRIMM: How do you think the Romanian insurance market will develop in 2009?
Radu MANOLIU:
The probability that adverse effects of the current misfortunate global financial enviroment at the end of 2008 will also propagate throughout 2009 is very high. I consider that the insurance market will follow the global trend of decline, although it will not be equally affected as the mature Western markets; in the absence of emphasis and perpetuation of the current global financial crisis, the one aspect that could really destabilize the Romanian insurance market could only be represented by the unwanted withdrawal from Romania of the big insurers.

XPRIMM: What are the objectives that the company you represent has set for 2009?
R.M.:
CREDIT EUROPE Asigurari-Reasigurari (C.E.A.R.) aims to be among the first 10 players of the profile market, at the end of 2010, and this goal implies a substantial increase of the scale of business throughout the year 2009. Regarding the development of lines of business, we want to increase the share of housing insurance, of civil liability and accidents insurance in the total portfolio of products. In terms of distribution structure, it is expected that at the end of the respective year, the intermediaries will represent at least the second channel of distribution of the company.

XPRIMM: Which do you appreciate the main utility of an insurance policy is, in the current global macroeconomic context?
R.M.:
In the current global macroeconomic context, I consider that the utility of insurance policies should be reassessed by all categories of clients and potential clients, as a result of a deeper understanding of the stability that contracting various types of insurance can give to an individual, to a household, to a business or even to a whole country - in the latter respect, the example of an unwanted natural disaster of large proportions and of a large territorial extent is very eloquent.

XPRIMM: What are the strengths of the company you represent, in front of the competition?
R.M.:
In terms of such a competitive market, the only way for C.E.A.R. to follow in order to achieve success, as a company that started from zero, consists of organizing the activity on efficiency criteria, and adopting underwriting politics that allow generating a portfolio where the predominante types of insurance are those of the classes recognized as profitable. In this latter respect, C.E.A.R. is very competitive - including terms of costs - as for all types of non-motor insurance, it is more than flexible for larger business; on the other hand, the company wishes to be recognized as a promoter of the true underwriting principles, always rating depending on the risk profile. In another order of ideas, the C.E.A.R. clients have non-stop access to a call-center, dedicated to claims solving, as well as to innovative insurance related services: road assistance (announcing relatives / friends, immediate repair or sheltering the car, the accommodation of passengers, compensation of the expenses related to travelling to destination / home and to the ones for the repair unit for lifting the repaired vehicle, as well as providing an exchange vehicle outside the country) and home care (consisting of interventions of installers, electricians, locksmiths etc.).

XPRIMM: How does the management of CREDIT EUROPE view the collaboration with the insurance intermediaries, under the conditions in which their share on the market is in a continuous growth?
R.M.:
The experience accumulated by the group in other countries has attracted our attention, since the beginning, to the fact that an insurer cannot become an important player of the local profile market without extensively collaborating with intermediaries, especially brokers, and our experience last year confirms that this aspect is fully valid for Romania, too. In this sense, our main goal for 2009 is to increase the number of partnerships with intermediaries, in parallel to the accentuated development of the already existing ones.

XPRIMM: What do you consider to be the main threat for the Romanian insurance market?
R.M.:
As it is known, the current world financial crisis is a general threat to the entire Romanian economy; however, I consider that the effects of the crisis will substantially affect the Romanian insurance market only when (possible but not certain) the Romanian economy will register alarming rates of unemployment. On the other hand, though, even if we live this pessimistic scenario, I hope the economy will redress quickly enough to register no irreparable consequences on the Romanian insurance market. Besides the effects of the crisis, I think that the limited degree of control of the insurers on the motor insurance segment continues to represent the main risk factor of the Romanian market, on medium and long term - and when I say control, I am not talking only about the costs corresponding to the spare parts and to the manual labor, but also about the more accurate establishment of the risk profiles of the policyholders who change insurers (this is a troublesome issue, approximately done, for the time being - in the absence of a common database to contain information on claims registered throughout time by all persons and legal entities that have benefited from insurance policies starting with a given moment), in order to allow the implementation of the bonus-malus system from the moment of underwriting - so that the application of as accurate as possibe rates to determine the short-term separation of the caring insured from the careless ones and, on medium term, the change of attitude and behavior of the latter.

Editor: Oana RADU | Published on 27.02.2009






















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