BELARUS: new legislation, adopted in 2019, aims to liberalize the insurance market

2 April 2020 — Marina MAGNAVAL
The main achievement in 2019 for the insurance market was adoption of the Presidential Decree No. 175, aiming at liberalization of the insurance business, according to the magazine "Insurance in Belarus".

New legislative norms came into force on September 1, 2019 and equalized the rights of private and state life insurers regarding insurance of enterprises under universal life insurance. But, at the same time, if an insurer is owned by a foreign investor, then this company does not have the right to insure bot state or private enterprises. In addition, in 2019, there were prepared some amendments to the Decree of the Council of Ministers No. 1750, which allow insurers to invest part of insurance reserves in real estate, including their own offices. Most insurance companies positively accepted this change, as real estate investments had been prohibited over the past few years.

As a result of adoption of the liberalization norms in reinsurance legislation, insurers got a possibility to reinsure their risks within self-retention, including abroad. However, at the same time, foreign reinsurers must have ratings no lower than the country rating, which makes it difficult to apply the new norms.

Speaking about the market results, market experts believe that voluntary life insurance can be considered as the new market driver (growth by more than 30% y-o-y), growth rate of which is higher than those of other insurance types. The former market driver of 2018, MotorHull, has given its place to personal insurance (including voluntary insurance of medical expenses).

The experts name digitalization as one of the main trends on the insurance market in 2019. The market recorded active introduction of insurance mobile applications, online sales, scoring systems and other modern technologies. The novelty of 2019 was that insurers finally provided their customers with an opportunity to buy MTPL policies in electronic format.

According to the preliminary data of the magazine "Insurance in Belarus", Stravita (+27%) and Promtransinvest (+14%) were the leaders in terms of growth among state insurers, while PriorLife (+71%) and Imkliva Insurance (+54%) headed the ranking of the private ones.

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