Romanian Insurers Sitting on 2.67 Bln-euro Reserves

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Romanian Insurers Sitting on 2.67 Bln-euro Reserves

Romanian insurers are sitting on a cash pile, almost 3 bln euros, namely technical reserves, in the context where almost all companies are suffering not only from falling sales and incomes, but also from a cash shortage, Ziarul Financiar reported.

Insurers' gross technical reserves in late 2008 reached 9.83 bln RON (2.67 bln euros), a real increase of almost 24% from 2007, according to the data provided by the Insurance Supervision Commission (CSA).

The value of technical reserves should allow insurers, at any moment, to honour their commitments resulting from insurance contracts.

"Insurance companies hold assets meant to cover gross technical reserves in an over 100% percentage, like in previous years. Thus, data reported for 2008 show insurers cover their technical reserves with assets over 120% admitted in general insurance activities and over 111% in life insurance activities," stated Angela Toncescu, CSA chairman.

Solvency, too, is at a satisfactory level, of 2.14 for general insurance and 3.64 for life insurance, in the context where the minimum by law is 1.

Insurance companies last year registered 158 mln-euro losses, up 130% from 2007.

Gross underwritten premiums for general insurance posted real growth of 16% in 2008, to 7 bln RON (1.9bn euros), while life insurance rose by 21%, to 1.8 bln RON (489 mln euros).

The insurance market is witnessing an unprecedented decline this year. Life insurance dropped by 6% in real terms in the first half, while general insurance had a 4% marginal growth, according to preliminary data by CSA. The overall insurance market advanced by only 2.4% in real terms, considering a 3.14% inflation rate on the first six months, according to the National Statistics Institute, to a volume of around 4.67 bln RON (1.11bln euros).

By comparison, in previous years the real growth of the insurance market topped 15%. It was only auto liability insurance, which is compulsory, that kept the market above the zero level.

Source: Ziarul Financiar

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