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The evolution of the insurance market in 2018

 

Bucharest, March 20th, 2019- The insurance companies authorized and regulated by ASF subscribed in 2018 gross premiums in the amount of approximately 10.14 billion lei, increasing by 4.5% compared to the value registered in the previous year.

The year 2018 was characterized by an improvement in solvency ratios. At the end of December last year, all insurance companies met both the Solvency Capital Requirement (SCR) and the Minimum Capital Requirements (MCR). The SCR and MCR ratios at the market level, calculated as the ratio of total own funds eligible to cover capital requirements and the total amount of capital requirements, recorded supra-unit values. The SCR rate at the market level was 1.71 and the MCR rate recorded a value of 3.87.

At the end of 2018, the total amount of gross technical reserves constituted by insurance companies was at a level of over 16 billion lei, increasing by about 5% as compared to 2017.

A change manifested especially during the last two years (2017-2018) is the consolidation of the life insurance segment, which registered an appreciation of over 4% in 2018 compared to the previous year. However, a significant increase was noted in 2017, when the life insurance segment increased by 21% in terms of the volume of gross written premiums for the life insurance activity compared to 2016.

As of December 31st, 2018, 29 insurance companies authorized and regulated by ASF were active in the insurance market, of which 16 practiced only non-life insurance activities, 7 practiced only life assurance activities and 6 had composite activity.

The insurance market in Romania is characterized by a medium to high degree of concentration. In 2018, approximately 89% of the total gross written premiums were achieved by 10 insurance companies out of the 29 companies performing insurance/reinsurance activity on December 31st, 2018.

Gross written premiums – Non-life insurance (NLI) + Life insurance (LI)

The Gross written premiums (GWP) related to non-life insurance (NLI) amounted to 8.04 billion lei in 2018, increased by 4.6% compared to the previous year, and GWP related to life insurance (LI) were in the amount of approximately 2.1 billion lei, 4.3% more than in 2017.

The RCA markets

The total amount of insurance written premiums for RCA insurance in 2018 reached approximately 3.60 billion lei, the remainder up to the total A10 class (3.74 billion lei) representing the carrier's insurance for the goods transported as a carrier and the RCA written premiums on the territory of other EU Member States on the basis of the right of free provision of services.

On December 31st, 2018, the highest weights were held by policies with a validity of 6 months (approximately 34%) and 12-month (30%).

On the whole market, the first annual RCA average decreased by about 12% in 2018 compared to the previous year, registering the value of 612 lei.

The average RCA damage paid for personal injuries in 2018 decreasing by 3.09% compared to the previous year and the material damages increasing by 14.39%.

In 2018, the RCA insurers concluded a number of 301.131 direct settlement clauses, the gross written premiums related hereof being 22.746.898 lei. On 30.12.2018 there were 235,605 direct settlement clauses in force.

Home insurance

The subscriptions related to optional home insurance, during the year 2018, registered an increase of about 5% compared to the previous year, while the gross indemnities paid decreasing by about 14% and the number of new contracts concluded during the reporting period decreasing by 13%.

Compared to December 31st, 2017, at the end of 2018, the number of contracts in force for mandatory home insurance increased by about 1%. Gross written premiums registered an advance of approximately 3%, while gross indemnities increased by 15%.

Health insurances

Health insurances accumulated at the end of 2018 gross written premiums worth approximately 335 million lei, increased by approximately 60% compared to the previous year:

  • Gross written premiums (GWP) for non-life insurance (NLI) amounted to 230 million lei, increasing by approximately 74% and representing about 69% of the total GWP for health insurance activity;
  • The gross written premiums related to life insurance (LI) amounted to 105 million lei, increasing by approximately 37% compared to the previous year.

Gross indemnities paid by insurers

In 2018, the insurance companies reported gross indemnities paid (excluding partial and total maturities and redemptions), cumulated for the two categories of insurance (NLI + LI), in the amount of 5.100.317.503 lei, as follows:

  • 4.915.702.278 lei are related to non-life insurance contracts (96%), registering an increase of 21% compared to 2017 (RON 4.076.896.562);
  • 184.615.225 lei are amounts paid for life insurance premiums, registering an increase of about 18% compared to 2017.

Branches

As of December 31st, 2018, 12 branches were active in the insurance market, 9 of which held non-life insurance business (NLI) and 3 practiced life insurance (LI).

At the end of 2018, the branches cumulated gross written premiums worth 669.3 million lei, decreasing by about 11% compared to the previous year. GWP for non-life insurance amounted to 273.1 million lei, decreasing by 25% compared to the same period of the previous year. At the same time, gross written premiums related to life insurance amounted to 396.2 million lei, increasing by about 1% compared to the same period of the previous year.

Insurance Brokers

At the end of 2018, 342 authorized brokers were registered in the records of the Financial Supervisory Authority (compared to 382 at the end of 2017), of which: 28 companies with temporary activity, 299 active companies and 15 companies with temporarily suspended activity.

As a result of the centralization of the reports submitted by the insurance and/or reinsurance brokers on 31.12.2018 (provisional data), there is an increase in the value of the interim non-life insurance and life insurance premiums of 3.48%, from 6.166.053,903 (2017) to 6.380.788,060 lei.

In 2018 insurance and/or reinsurance brokers reported income from intermediation insurance activity amounting to 1.095.337,930 lei, increasing by 12.71% compared to the same period of the previous year (971.812.823 lei).

Reference rates

The reference rates for mandatory car insurance policies (RCA) were published, according to the provisions of Law no. 132/2017 and of Regulation no. 22/2017 concerning their calculation methodology, on the ASF web site at www.asfromania.ro

The reference rates were calculated, according to the legal provisions, by an independent company - Ernst & Young Assurance Services SRL - depending on: the categories of vehicles (cars, freight cars, passenger cars, etc.), the type of the policyholder (legal/natural person), the age of policyholders in the case of natural person and the technical characteristics of the vehicles (cylinder capacity or power, maximum authorized mass, number of seats.

From the analysis of the reference rates for natural persons, for each risk segment, it results that the developments are mainly generated by the dynamic structure of RCA policyholders according to the bonus-malus classes. For natural persons, about 54% of the exposure related to the underwritten policies during July 1st, 2017 - June 30th, 2018 was included in the Bonus 8 class, so that upon policy renewals, policyholders classified in a bonus class would benefit from a reduction in insurance premiums up to 50%. Less than 0.01% of the underwritten policies during this period were included in the Malus 8 class.

The reference rates are not the rates at which RCA policies are concluded in the market.

Thus, in the second half of 2018, the value of the average effective premiums of the insurance companies was below the previous reference rate for most categories of vehicles. For example, in the case of passenger cars with a cylinder capacity of 1401-1600 cmc, owned by people aged 31-40 years, the average market average was 625 lei, 13% lower than the previous reference premium (716 lei). For the same category of cars, but for people under 30 years, the average market premium was 972 lei, 7% lower than the previous reference premium (1049 lei), and for the 41-50 years old the average premium in the market was 614 lei, 14% lower than the previous reference premium (712 lei). Also, in the case of motor vehicles intended for the carriage of goods with a maximum authorized weight of 16.000 kg or more - legal persons, the average market price was 6.760 lei, about 7% lower than the reference rate (7.273 lei).

For comparability, the premiums practised by companies were converted into annual premiums and adjusted at the B0 class level.

The exhaustive report on the evolution of the insurance market in 2018 can be consulted at www.asfromania.ro.