Only 3 Insurers Gained Market Share In First Quarter

05.24.2011 ZF English

Only three of the top ten insurers in terms of the volume of gross premiums underwritten grew their market share over the first quarter.

Big insurers are still experiencing the effects of the crisis and most of them continue to lose market share to small players or to companies that promoted more heavily insurance products that were more in demand.

Most insurers kept the positions they held at the end of last year into the first quarter, with the only exception being Asirom, which climbed from sixth place to fourth. Groupama and ING Asigurari each lost one position, to number 5 and 6 respectively. The top three players continue to be Astra, Allianz-Tiriac and Omniasig.

"I have not seen significant changes on the market and I don't think we will see changes in the ranking in the coming period, either, because all companies operate under the same market circumstances and it is very difficult for a player to move away from that," says Romeo Jantea, partner of insurance and private pensions broker Guild.

Asirom, controlled by Austrian group Vienna Insurance, recorded the fastest growth in the first quarter, with the company's market share climbing to 9.4% from 6.3% at the end of last year. The insurer gained back the market share it had lost in the last two years, which was the company's target at the beginning of the year.

Asirom's underwritten premiums went up by nearly 21% in the first quarter against the similar period of 2010, to 201 million lei (around EUR48 million), with the rise being linked to the increase on the segment of auto liability insurance (RCA). Omniasig also posted higher sales of auto liability policies, with its business decline slowing down to 6% after the first three months, after a 17% decline recorded last year.

"Auto liability insurance generally had a poorer performance this year. What will really differentiate companies will be the success in selling other products better than the mandatory policies. As far as retail is concerned, the main segment with potential is home insurance policies," Jantea adds.

Gross premiums underwritten on the segment of auto liability insurance fell 18% in the first quarter, to RON668 million (EUR158 million), after the average price on the segment fell by 20% to 25% during the winter campaign, when more than 1.8 million drivers renewed their policies. (EUR1=RON4.1263)


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