By Nicoleta Banila
The top one hundred insurers in Southeastern Europe (SEE) saw both their net profit and gross written premiums (GWP) grow in double digits in 2021, despite persisting challenges related to the coronavirus crisis and low interest rates.
Their combined net profit rose by 26% to 599 million euro in 2021, from 475 million euro in 2020 and 497 million euro in 2019, outpacing the increase in GWP. Only eight of the top insurers closed the year in the red, while 38 recorded a decline in profits.
In 2021, SEE’s biggest insurers registered 9.675 billion euro in GWP, 11.65% higher on the year and above the 8.8 billion-euro levels registered by the entrants in the ranking in 2019. Just nine insurers reported a decline in their GWPs in 2021.
Slovenian giant Zavarovalnica Triglav remained the region’s leader in terms of both GWP and net profit for yet another year, well ahead of its nearest competitor, local peer Generali Zavarovalnica. Triglav’s GWP rose by an annual 11% to 794 million euro while its net profit expanded by 27% to 73.4 million euro. The better-than-planned results followed prudent underwriting activities and management of client assets in mutual funds as the frequency of claims was low. The insurance group retained a strong focus on the digitalisation of claims processing, sales and client relationship management. Going forward, the Triglav Group plans to develop business ecosystems in order to meet different client needs, expand its market presence and create new sales opportunities, and will continue with its digital transformation process. By 2025, the group targets to achieve total annual revenue of over 1.6 billion euro.
Another Slovenian insurer, Generali Zavarovalnica, climbed to second place from the fourth position in 2020, replacing Romania’s City Insurance, which went bankrupt. Generali Zavarovalnica’s rise in the ranking followed the acquisition of its Slovenian peer Adriatic Slovenica in 2019. Whereas Generali Zavarovalnica’s GWP increased by less than six percent in 2021, its profit expanded fourfold.
Euroins Romania Asigurare Reasigurare, a unit of Bulgaria-based EIG, raced up five positions to the third place after its GWP rose by an annual 68%. However, 2021 was Euroins Romania’s third consecutive year without profit, mainly due to losses incurred in the third-party liability car insurance segment. Nevertheless, the company sharply narrowed its net loss to 6.8 million euro from 45.8 million euro in 2020.
Slovenia’s Zavarovalnica Sava occupied the fourth spot in the ranking with GWP of 434 million euro, down 2.8%. In terms of net profit, however, it ranked second. Its net profit went up 19% to 58 million euro, driven by stable revenue growth, favourable claims developments, cost efficiency and investment return in all segments
Romanian insurer Allianz – Tiriac Asigurari climbed five positions to the fifth place. Its GWP surged 53% to 413.5 million euro on the back of strong increases in the third-party liability, life and travel insurance segments. Its financial situation is expected to improve further with the integration of local peer Gothaer Asigurari Reasigurari estimated to be completed by the end of 2022. The transaction was announced by the two parties in late 2020. Gothaer, now named Allianz-Tiriac Unit, ranks 84th in this year’s ranking.
The sharpest rise in GWP among the SEE TOP 100 insurers was registered by Serbia’s Globos Osiguranje, which entered the ranking in 2020. Within a year after local car dealer British Motors became its majority owner, Globos Osiguranje more than doubled its GWP to 35.4 million in 2021.
Slovenian insurers dominate the ranking both in terms of GWP and net profit in 2021. They reported a combined GWP of 2.58 billion euro in 2021, equal to 27% of the combined GWP of all hundred entrants.
Five new entrants made it into the ranking – Slovenia’s Triglav Pokojninska Druzba, Bosnia’s Wiener Osiguranje Vienna Insurance Group a.d. Banja Luka, Moldova’s Astera Group, Kosovo’s Sigal Uniqa Group Austria and North Macedonia’s Winner Vienna Insurance Group.