In the non-life segment, UNIQA moved into sixth place following a premium growth of 19.5% and a market share of 7.4% (0.1%). The company aims to be the largest Bulgarian life insurer by the end of the year.
With average market growth at 23.9%, UNIQA achieved a rise in life insurance of 54.1% and hence a premium volume of around €6.6 million. “UNIQA has scored highly thanks to innovative products, excellent sales and close cooperation with the local Raiffeisenbank," says Paul Moritz, Chairman of the Management Board of the Bulgarian UNIQA subsidiary. The company also grew in non-life insurance with a rise of 19.5% over market average (+18.0%) to achieve a premium volume of €13.7 million in the first three months of the current year.
The overall market grew by 18.8% in the 1st quarter of 2008; here as well, UNIQA was clearly above the market average with an increase of 28.95% to €20.3 million and is currently in fourth place in the market.
According to Moritz, “At the end of 2007, we set ourselves two objectives for the current year: we want to be Number 1 in life insurance on the Bulgarian insurance market and we want the company as a whole to move into third place on the market. The figures for the 1st quarter of 2008 already show a clear trend in this direction and we are confident that we will reach the targets we have set ourselves by the end of 2008.”
The new headquarters were moved into last May and now provide a new workplace for over 150 employees on around 5,000 m2 spread over five floors. “We are delighted that all colleagues of our headquarters work under one roof. Faster processing and more direct communication also brings benefits to our customers. Our new headquarters, with its open structures, high level of flexibility and modern facilities, also reflects the values that UNIQA stands for,” says Moritz. The office spaces were officially opened in June in the presence of more than 200 customers, partners and guests.
In addition to the headquarters in Sofia, UNIQA has over 100 sales offices in Bulgaria, employing approximately 420 permanent employees and more than 2,000 insurance agents.
The thirty-six insurance companies active on the Bulgarian insurance market generated a premium volume of around €777 million in 2007. Despite above-average increases in life-insurance over the last few years, around 83% of premiums currently still fall in the non-life segment – the figure for Western Europe is 20%. With an insurance penetration (share of premiums in GDP) of around 2.7%, Bulgaria is average for Central and Eastern European countries, but correspondingly far behind the European average of 8.3%. This alone gives a continued high growth potential for the insurance industry in Bulgaria in the years and decades to come.