Vice chairman of City Insurance in Romania highlights ‘growth goldmine’
Personal lines and health issues offer future insurance growth opportunities in the Romanian market, according to Renato Szilagyi, vice chairman of City Insurance, which is based in the country.
The company, founded in 1998 in Romania, started by providing travel health insurance after being set up by a pool of local travel agencies.
In 2012, after a change in the shareholder structure, the company evolved and shifted its strategy to focus on retail and motor insurance in the local market.
In 2017, Szilagyi said, the insurer became “the market leader” in the non-life sector, and “now we have increased our market share from 18 percent in 2018 to 22 percent in the first six months of 2019 through organic growth”.
The company remains privately owned by local shareholders but, Szilagyi said, it is the only privately owned company in the Romanian market, which is dominated by large international groups.
“We like to say that this growth is a result of our competitiveness in the market,” he added.
Looking ahead, he told Baden-Baden Today that private health insurance will be “the next goldmine” in the Romanian insurance industry.
“This is because the performance of the public health system is quite poor and the quality of the medical service provided in public hospitals is also poor,” he said.
“We are seeing the creation of the middle classes in Romania, so people are starting to spend more money not only to replace their old cars but also on their health and to protect their family. That is why it’s the most promising line in the future.”
The company plans to remain focused on its existing insurance markets, as its leaders strongly believe there is potential for growth.
“If you look at the macro numbers of Romania, the stability of GDP growth, and the low penetration rate of insurers in the local economy, we see potential,” Szilagyi said.
“We believe that the market is still in the motor cycle, meaning that people are buying motor insurance because they need to.
“But in the last year we have observed the development and steady growth of household insurance. In this market we have issued the biggest amount of household insurance in the market, for a total of almost 500,000 houses, which is close to 20 percent of the insurance market,” he concluded.
Baden-Baden 2019, City Insurance, Personal Insurance, Health Insurance, Reinsurance, Renato Szilagyi, Europe