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Interview of the week

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Serguei ZAITSEV, Associate Director, HANNOVER Re


Although the so called "hard" market had already passed its peak in 2007, reinsurance rates were on the adequate level in most cases. The sustained favourable state of the reinsurance market in non-life reinsurance had a positive effect on the development of HANNOVER Re's business.

XPRIMM: How was this renewal season for HANNOVER Re?
Serguei ZAITSEV:
Although the so called "hard" market had already passed its peak in 2007, reinsurance rates were on the adequate level in most cases. The sustained favourable state of the reinsurance market in non-life reinsurance had a positive effect on the development of HANNOVER Re's business. By using the selective underwriting principles we were able to generate profitable business. In general, we were satisfied with the course of non-life treaty renewals for the year 2008, too.

XPRIMM: How do you see the major development of the re/-insurance markets in CEE and CIS region?
S.Z.:
Central European countries, Russia and the CIS states offer a particularly large growth potential for (re)insurance business. These markets become, however, fiercely competitive. In past years HANNOVER Re has nevertheless been successful in consistently writing profitable business in the area. For the current 2008 financial year, too, we anticipate adequate reinsurance margins. HANNOVER Re ranks itself among the top 3 reinsurers in CEE and CIS countries and is well positioned with significant market share, especially with regard to non-proportional reinsurance which we would prefer to write.

XPRIMM: Taking into consideration the opportunities, what are the plans HANNOVER Re has made for this region in 2008?
S.Z.:
In CEE and CIS countries, HANNOVER Re is providing its clients with reinsurance capacity in all lines of business, including private, commercial and industrial property; business interruption and loss of profit; engineering; protection against natural perils; marine, land and air-going cargo; general third party liability, product liability, professional indemnity, employers' liability, medical malpractice, D&O; motor hull and motor third party liability; marine hull; aviation; agriculture risks; credit, bond, surety and political risks; terrorism; personal accident; life and health, etc.
HANNOVER Re maintains know-how and an infrastructure that enable us at any time and in all lines of business to both quote and lead any type of treaty and to assist our partners with pro-active and professional claims management. Furthermore, throughout all phases of the reinsurance market cycle we systematically identify niche markets and cultivate flexible and innovative solutions for our partners.

XPRIMM: What are the major opportunities and threats of the Romanian insurance market, one year after joining EU?
S.Z.:
The insurance market in Romania is growing very fast. Our expectation is that after joining EU the insurance services in this country will grow even faster than in the past. HANNOVER Re will participate in this development by doing good business with professionally operating insurance companies. For the time being, we do not see any particular threats.

XPRIMM: What is the HANNOVER Re' strategy in Romania in 2008?
S.Z.:
We are very much satisfied with the financial results of our reinsurance business in Romania. We are now in a more stronger position to serve our Romanian clients. We are open to further fruitful co-operation with ceding companies and brokers and especially committed to our loyal cedants which are able to merit the quality of HANNOVER Re's services provided to them. It means that for those clients who are willing to demonstrate their loyalty and long-term approach HANNOVER Re is prepared to extend its profitability criteria to a longer timeframe as a competitive advantage granted to our loyal partners. In the future we shall without any doubt continue to devote increased attention to Romania's insurance market.

XPRIMM: What are your expectations regarding the reinsurance demand in Romania for this year and for which lines of business do you think this demand would increase?
S.Z.:
In Romania, we would expect increased reinsurance demand in liability classes of business as well as in the reinsurance protection against natural perils. We would be happy to serve our existing clients with appropriate efficient reinsurance solutions. We would like to be of greater service to small and medium sized companies and would support new established ventures and niche players with our know-how and suitable reinsurance solution.
The rating agencies Standard & Poor's and A.M. Best have awarded HANNOVER Re above-average ratings of "AA-" (very strong) and "A" (excellent) respectively. This means that our cedants can rely upon our financial strength and excellent ability to pay their claims from a long-term perspective.

XPRIMM: Thank you!

| Published on 01.05.2008






















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