What are the strategic challenges for the Croatian insurance industry?

10 November 2016 — Daniela GHETU
The top key factors impacting the insurance industry, as listed by the Croatian insurers interviewed in a poll taken during the Croatian Insurance Days, include unstable economic environment, altered expectations of customers, as well as the lack of strategic directions within the industry's players.

Digitalization and attention paid to the core business should be the main strategic directions for the Croatian insurers, believe the majority of the insurance professionals who responded to the poll.

The Panel, focusing on Strategic Challenges, was attended by Damir ZORIC, Chairman, Croatian Insurance Bureau, Boris GALIC, President of the Board, ALLIANZ Zagreb, Damir VANDELIC, President of the Board, CROATIA Osiguranje, and Gordana LETICA, Member of the Board, Croatian FSA.

Damir ZORIC, Chairman, Croatian Insurance Bureau

  • Low level of interest rate is concerning; record breaking level of savings in Croatia;
  • For the insurance market, expectations for 2017 are that there will be no significant changes in volume terms. Growth is much harder to achieve than in the past;
  • Everybody agrees that digitalization is needed and potentially very good for the industry, but companies are also confronted with the day by day need to reduce costs, which mean investing in digitalization on a significant scale has to wait a little longer.
Boris GALIC, President of the Board, ALLIANZ Zagreb
  • We have good expectations regarding the tourism industry's ability to be a growth factor for the economy and also for insurance. There are good perspectives also for the agriculture and food industry;
  • The market volume will not be determined only by the demand, but also by the competition and Croatia has a highly competitive insurance market. Yet, car insurance, especially Motor Hull, remains an important source of business and growth despite the competitive environment;
Damir VANDELIC, President of the Board, CROATIA Osiguranje
  • Croatia has gained good growth in the past thanks to the tourism segment, but this is a model of growth that should not be relied on for a long time (has a big exposure to the political risk factor - see examples of Egypt and Tunisia);
  • Profitability is a key challenge for insurers, but we can not only rely on costs control to achieve a stable profitability. You need to take steps forward and invest in efficient tools and prepare for the future;
Gordana LETICA, Member of the Board, Croatian FSA

  • We can expect to see some growth in insurance along with the general economic growth. To make that a reality, the market needs to put more effort in that and more creativity. Lately, we have been "consumed" by a great deal of new regulations, as well as by the challenges brought by the MTPL market liberalization, but we need to overcome this stage and move forward to product development, etc.;
  • The requirements of the new pieces of regulation (Solvency II, IDD etc.) should be seen as an opportunity for the market to grow in a more sophisticated way, based on product modernization, use of new technologies, a more client centric approach etc. The era of the market share growth based on price is already gone;