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Interview of the week

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Viorel VASILE, Managing Partner, SAFETY Broker


The main challenge for the brokerage market is to maintain at the same figures as in the past years, under the circumstances in which the insurance market will probably decrease by over 10%. Due to massive restructuring and mergers on the insurance mediation market, there were created the premises for the brokerage market development. There is a tendency to develop nationwide brokerage networks, development based on professional sales force among the insurers.

XPRIMM: What are the main challenges that the insurance brokerage market has to face in 2011? How did the perception of clients regarding the role of the insurance consultant change over the last year?
Viorel VASILE: The main challenge for the brokerage market is to maintain at the same figures as in the past years, under the circumstances in which the insurance market will probably decrease by over 10%. Due to massive restructuring and mergers on the insurance mediation market, there were created the premises for the brokerage market development. There is a tendency to develop nationwide brokerage networks, development based on professional sales force among the insurers.
Insurance consultants began to be increasingly better seen, especially after the emergence and escaladation of the economic crisis. The customers tendency to choose only one insurer brand (usually, reputable companies) has disappeared and the customers started to choose the insurers recommended by consultants, that have fair prices, adapted to the crisis.
Insurance consultant’s role is to assist the customer in case an insured event will occur and here is the difference between insurance agents, who only issue insurance policies, and insurance brokers, who have dedicated after sales service on the claims part.

XPRIMM: How do you assess the results of your company in 2010 and what are the main objectives for this year and the main threats?
V. V.: 2010 was the best year since the founding of our company. We ended the year with GWP of EUR 15 million, an increase of 70% compared to 2009. The target for this year is to develop our network throughout the country, in all cities over 100,000 inhabitants. Main opportunities in this period are related to development potential in the territory, with low costs, due to lower rents and to the labor market resulted from the insurance companies restructuring.

XPRIMM: What is the share between individual customers and corporate clients in your portfolio and how did the two segments have evolved - corporate and retail - in 2010?
V. V.: We have registered a 60% increase in the retail segment and a decrease of the corporate segment of approximately 25%.
At this point, we have, in the portfolio, 42% individual customers and 58% legal persons.
There is a clear tendency of increase of the retail portfolio, due to our expension in the territory.
 
XPRIMM: How do the recruitment and retention of staff take place in the company? It is opportune, at this time, an expansion of the sales force? Do the current economic situation and fiscal environment bring new opportunities to recruit people to work in insurance?
V. V.: In general, the staff with whom we have started when we had decided to expand nationwide has remained the same. Development in the territory was done in franchise system, where our partners handle the recruitment process.
 
XPRIMM: What is the product that sells best at the moment and what are the products you will continue to bet on?
V. V.: Right now, the MTPL policies we are selling represent 60% of the portfolio. There is a visible trend of increasing household insurance policies, given the introduction of mandatory household insurance.

| Published on 24.02.2011






















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