STATISTICS: BELARUS, FY2015: Insurance market went up by 12% in local currency, but suffered from the currency devaluation

25 February 2016 — Olesea ADONEV
Total GWP by the Belarussian insurance market last year have risen by 12% y-o-y, to BYR 8,139 billion. In European currency, due to the local currency devaluation, the market figures show a quite different trend in GWP terms: EUR 400 million, or 20.66% less y-o-y.

As most CIS countries Belarus was exposed to macroeconomic shocks caused by the deepening crisis, the oil price fall and its dependence on the Russian economy and the Russian ruble exchange rate. The fall of the population's real income (editor's note: calculated in USD/EUR) had also an important role to play in the insurance business. For example, at the end of 2014, the average wage was USD 500, while at the end of 2015 the average value fall at USD 300-350. Moreover, between 2014 and 2015 the Belarusian ruble (BYR) lost 41% of its value against EUR.

In the reporting period, the share of paid claims in the total GWP reached to 57.7% compared to 45.1% in FY2014. In the opinion of Andrei DANILCHYK, General Director, StrakhExpertGroup, this is an acceptable level of payment made by insurers, especially that this growth of the claims share is also including the costs of doing business.

Another trend of the Belarusian insurance market in 2015 was that the total value of claims paid increased by 43.20% in the local currency compared to claims growth in European currency by 1.44%. The main explanation lies in the fact that the claims costs are highly depending on the currency evolution, as about 90% of the Belarussian cars fleet is made of foreign cars which need imported spare parts. Another important factor is that the motor insurance lines account for about half of the total GWP.

Andrei DANILCHYK, characterized the difference between growth rates of claims and premiums as an "influence of general economic factors - decrease of GDP -, strong devaluation, drop of population's economic activity."

In the reporting period, the Ministry of Finance has taken measures to combat abusive practices in the bancassurance system that compel customers to buy insurance policies together with the bank loans. The results of these measures have become evident in the results of 2015, so the growth rate of the life insurance line decreased from 31.02% (in FY2014) to 23.63% in FY2015.

Access and download the FY2015 Belarusian insurance market statistics.

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