Interest in voluntary insurance likely to grow as risk awareness rises

By Bogdan Todasca

Calin Matei,
CEO, Groupama Romania

In 2022, Groupama led the Romanian insurance market and was the runner-up in SEE. What drove your success and which were the best performing segments?

In 2022, Groupama became the leader of the insurance market in Romania, an achievement that, of course, brings us great satisfaction and further validates our strategy to grow sustainably while respecting our promises to customers and partners.

We have always focused on providing quality products and services at the right price, bringing continuity to our customers’ lives in a simple and predictable way. In other words, we focused on being that partner that people need to live their lives confidently. All of this, together with a high-performing team and a strong brand, determined our success. We achieved very good results across all business lines and recorded double-digit increases, both in the Motor or Non-Motor sectors. We continued to consolidate these results throughout this year as well. Furthermore, Groupama now has a significantly enhanced presence in the MTPL sector (Motor Third Party Liability insurance), a position undertaken and built on the principle of delivering quality at a fair price.

We have never made it a goal in itself to be the market leader; instead, our aim was to grow sustainably and set a positive example for our industry.

What are your key targets for this year?

Our target has remained the same – to respond to the needs of our customers and partners by offering highquality products and services, to make every interaction with us pleasant, simple and predictable, while committing to achieve this in a sustainable and responsible way.

Following the reshuffling of Romania’s insurance market in 2021 and 2022, how do you see its development in the short term?

The insurance market in Romania is currently undergoing a normalisation process, a process that will continue in the coming period. Its evolution is ultimately also the responsibility of each market player, and I think it is crucial to prioritise quality at a fair price while talking about risks more often and putting prevention first.

Do you see any segments of the Romanian insurance market as underdeveloped?

I believe that there is still quite a significant concentration in the compulsory car insurance sector and that we are situated quite below the European average in terms of insurance coverage, despite leading in the prevalence of certain risks, such as road accidents. And this is not all. We face increasingly more intense and harder to predict climate phenomena, earthquakes, floods, storms, which affect our homes, cars, goods, not to mention the risks that can endanger our health or lives.

I hope that everything that has happened recently has made us more aware of the risks we are exposed to and more open to the idea of prevention. That is why I am optimistic that in the future, we will perhaps witness a potentially accelerated growth in interest in voluntary insurance and more of us will insure our health, life, homes and assets. At least as far as we are concerned, we are focused on diversification, Groupama also having stablished a strong presence in other business lines, such as health, life or home insurance, where we are also market leaders.

Do you anticipate any acquisitions or the entry of new players on the market?

The Romanian market undoubtedly provides opportunities, but it also requires legislative and fiscal predictability for new players to enter the market. Currently, the MTPL price is capped, and such interventions do not help Romania’s competitiveness.

In terms of acquisitions, in our case, we will consider any suitable opportunities that may arise.

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