Mihai Popescu, CEO of Aviva Grup Romania, estimates an increase by nearly 3 pc of the market this year against 2009 – a result which somehow defies the downward results posted by some players.
The Romanian life insurance market might end the year with a slight advance of about 3 pc, compared to last year, even though many of its players posted downward results at nine months, Mihai Popescu, CEO of Aviva Romania, announced yesterday, in a press conference. “Year 2010 was difficult, with many changes, but the market resisted and was able to assimilate them. Without the good results of the unit-linked segment, the market would have reported a negative result at the end of this year,” the company official explained. The life insurance market was better than other segments at withstanding the stress put on the economic environment, said the Aviva official, who believes that the market will keep increasing in 2011. Speaking about the incomes and expenses budget of ‘Aviva Asigurari de Viata’ company, he estimates an increase of subscriptions in 2011, against this year’s results, which will be under the level of 2009, when premiums topped RON 101.95 M. “In fact the budget is meant to create a portfolio of quality contracts that will ensure a healthy growth of company incomes, on a long term,” Mihai Popescu stated.
focus on the bank-insurance segment
According to Mihai Popescu, ‘Aviva Asigurari de Viata’ will further develop its distribution and partnerships in 2011, especially in the bank-insurance segment, to make sure that the company is ready for the moment when sales through this channel will recover. “Aviva currently collaborates with six banks. In the last two years, bank-insurance sales did not go very well, because crisis affected the results. We believe in the potential of this distribution channel and will continue to invest in its development,” said the CEO of Aviva Romania. Popescu added that he expects the average premium to increase by 10 pc next year. Now, the average premium for unit-linked insurances (which involve an investment component) amounts to EUR 400. Also in 2011, Aviva will recruit several hundreds of agents. The company now employs some 500 consultants and is present in 24 towns all over the country. Several hundreds of life insurance contracts matured this year, the Aviva CEO announced. Some of their beneficiaries chose to receive their money in installments or as a lump sum, while others purchased a new insurance policy. According to Mihai Popescu, about 1 in 3 customers chose to sign a new life insurance contract when the old one matured. “We are seeing an increase of the wish to save money. Three times more people than two years ago understand that they need to put some money aside, for their retirement years,” Mihai Popescu declared.
traditional life insurances with income guarantees get increased appreciation
According to German insurance company Signal Iduna, 2010 proved to be a good year, when sales stabilised. “(…) We decided to invest in the product line that developed even in the present context. To this regard, we noticed that traditional life insurances with an income guarantee element continued to have a positive evolution,” the president of the company, Leslie Breer says in a press release. Customers were more selective when it came to choosing an insurance product, even if this implied paying higher premiums. “Of late, we noticed a perception change among the customers of our target market – they are much more mature, oriented on the benefit of the product they purchase, so we decided to adapt our approach of prospects to their needs and areas of interest,” added Tiberiu Maier, vice-president of Signal Iduna Romania.