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Central and Eastern Europe’s insurance market grows by 8.3% in 1H/2021

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The new edition of XPRIMM Insurance Report CEE, SEE & CIS (1H 2021), providing an analysis of the financial results for over 30 markets from the mentioned regions, shows that the value of gross premiums written by the 17 CEE countries is EUR 20.75 billion, recording 8.3% y-o-y increase and exceeding by about EUR 900 million the volume of 1H 2019, the year before the Covid crisis. The only countries that failed to return to pre-crisis turnover are Estonia and Slovakia.

 

Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Romania continued to form the regional Top 5, maintaining the hierarchy established in 2020. Together, they hold a market share of approximately 76% of the regional GWP, each maintaining a regional share almost unchanged in comparison to the previous year.

 

At regional level, the largest contribution to the GWP growth, in absolute terms, was provided by the life insurance segment (~ EUR 530 million in addition to 1H2020); on the non-life segment, property insurance (classes 8 and 9) recorded a higher GWP volume by about EUR 276 million compared to last year, asserting itself as the main growth engine.

For example, looking at the largest regional markets, the GWP increase in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic was driven by the life insurance segment, while property insurance was the main growth source for Slovenia. Romanian and Slovak insurance markets’ growth was based mainly on the motor insurance business.

As for the claims paid, they increased regionally by 5% compared to the first half of 2020, to EUR 11.34 billion, an increase driven mainly by extreme weather events that affected some of the markets in the Central Europe.

 

Since motor insurance remains the most important segment of the regional market, here are some facts and figures regarding its evolution:

  • Compared to 1H2020, the period that suffered the effects of lockdown and restriction of traffic, the first half of 2021 led, in general, to a relative increase in the loss rate for MTPL car insurance which, at regional level, although reached a higher value than in 1H2020, but did not reach the value of 1H2019. Romania continued to hold an unwanted record, with a rate of claims paid to premiums written of 77%, the highest value in the region.

  • The Motor Hull line saw a contrary trend, with the simplified loss ratio values (paid claims to GWP) slightly improving in 1H2021 compared with 1H2020. In average, the ratio at regional level moved from 59.5% to 57.2%, benefitting from the higher growth rate recorded for GWP in comparison with the paid claims chapter. Romania’s loss rate remained the highest in the region, changing from 86.41% in 1H2019, to 77.11% in 1H2020 and back to over 88% in 1H2021.

 

The current edition hosts, besides its regular regional and country by country analysis, an interview with Petr JAKUBIK, Financial Stability Team Leader, EIOPA, articles on the financial and regulatory evolution of the CIS insurance markets signed by Fitch Ratings and S&P’s, as well as the story of the biggest bankruptcy in the Romanian insurance industry – CITY Insurance.

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