Munich, Jun 28, 2012
Which insurance services are most in demand in Russia
Danielsson: Like in many other countries motor
insurance is definitely the most purchased. The primary
demand is for the motor third-party liability that
every driver is required to have by law. People with
new cars and a little more money are also interested in
accident cover. Apart from this, we're not really
seeing a big demand for property insurance like in the
rest of Europe.
Why is that?
Danielsson: In my experience there is a difference
between "must have" products and "good
to have" products. "Must haves" are what
the law requires or what the bank requires to get loan
to buy a house or apartment. "Good to have"
programs like accident and life insurance are still not
wide-spread compared to western Europe, but their
popularity will grow as the economy develops.
Where else do you see strong demand?
Danielsson: Most insurance revenues in Russia come from
the oil industry which is very big in this country.
Buyers are looking for cover for oil refineries,
transportation and other related large companies.
However, if we look at the number of policies, most of
them are in motor and health insurance lines.
How does the Russian insurance system differ from other
countries in the world?
Danielsson: The Russians prefer to stay special and
often get irritated when they hear there is no big
difference to other countries. But there really
isn't. There is no other sphere which is so well
connected with the society as insurance. Health
insurance is influenced by the development of the
medical system, motor insurance by the growing number
of cars. So the Russian insurance market is following
European patterns. As the economic standard of living
of the average person outside of Moscow approaches
western European levels, the insurance market in Russia
will become more like what's in, say, Germany or
What are the main advantages and drawbacks of the
insurance system in Russia?
Danielsson: The Russian insurance market is not yet as
stable as in western Europe. There are still many
smaller insurance companies which are not managed
properly and run the risk of not being able to pay
claims to their customers when they need it. On the
other hand, there are many positive features as well.
What are those?
Danielsson: In my opinion, for example, the health
insurance system in Russia is quite efficient. It
contains different parts. The first is mandatory and
guaranteed by the state. The second is health insurance
provided by the majority of employers as a social
benefit for their employees, allowing them to get
medical treatment in better clinics. In addition to
that, individual customers can also purchase health
insurance policies privately.
There is a theory that every nation has its own risk
tolerance. One popular generalization is that people in
western Europe prefer to take every detail into account
in order to avoid potential risks and problems, while
the Russians are more spontaneous. Do you agree with
Danielsson: I totally agree that Germans, for example,
really like to make sure all risks are controlled and
planned for several years ahead, whereas Russians are
more focused on today. If you say "long
term", in Germany, people interpret that as around
five years, while in Russia it would mean no more than
five weeks. But that's just Germany.
Also, I'm not so sure it has to do with risk
tolerance, at least not entirely, because in Russia
people are just as worried about their houses or cars
as in Western Europe. But there is an issue of trusting
in the long term. People in Russia have gone through
far more rapid changes than in many other countries.
Therefore perhaps it is more difficult for them to
believe they can plan things so well.
And what about Russian entrepreneurs? Do you think they
have a higher risk tolerance than those in western
Danielsson: I think there is a visible entrepreneurial
spirit in Russia. You can clearly see the difference
between Russians and Germans, for example, how they
handle their tasks. If my Russian colleagues are
supposed to do something, they start doing it
immediately. If my German colleagues get a task, they
start planning how to do it. They will probably both
reach their targets but in very different ways.
Entrepreneurs try to do something new, see if it works,
and otherwise stop and try another way. This is typical
for the Russian culture. In general I think that
Russian managers are rather better equipped for a
fast-changing global world than average European
Allianz and the Russian insurance market
The Russian insurance market is growing rapidly. In
2011 the Life insurance market grew 53 percent, and the
Property & Casualty revenues grew 17 percent. Market
volume for Property & Casualty insurance in Russia
reached 15.8 billion euros, whereas Life insurance only
reached 890 million euros. Over 60 percent of premiums
are accounted for by the top ten market leaders, which,
except for Allianz, are mostly national insurers.
Allianz Group entered the Russian market in 1990 with
the launch of a subsidiary. In July 2001 Allianz
acquired 45.47 percent of ROSNO stock and in 2007
became its majority shareholder, which helped Allianz
to expand significantly on the Russian market. In the
same year, Allianz SE purchased the insurance company
In 2011 the three units were integrated under the
overall brand Allianz Russia. Today it is one of the
largest insurance companies in Russia, providing
service to more than 18 million customers and 50,000
companies and other organizations.
Lars Hakan Danielsson
was born in 1961 in Sweden. He holds a Masters degree
in Mathematics and worked as an Actuary from 1987 until
1991. He then served as the Chief Actuary for Stockholm
Re where he was appointed CEO in 1992. From 1994 he
served as Deputy CEO and CEO at various companies. In
July 2011 Mr. Danielsson was appointed the President of
ROSNO (now IC Allianz) in Russia.
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