Q1. At least in theory, any center-left government should be more preoccupied by the issues of better social protection. A better pensions system is one big chunk of that, but so are health insurance services. Is there any new development that you see on these fronts and if so, what are they? Do they exist at all? Are they good news or bad news?
When it comes to social protection I do not believe the political orientation of the Government authorities at a certain moment should have any relevance. Regarding social work, the less positive news is the ageing trend, mostly impacting not only on the pensions systems but also on the labor market and health systems. Therefore, Europe and Romania will have to find solutions in order to cope with the challenges generated by this demographic evolution. Finding solutions means to reduce the pressure on the health system and represents an extremely serious challenge. It certainly means the health system in Romania needs to be reformed. The involvement of the insurance companies in defining the reform options is more than necessary. Based on the limited public resources it is shaping up the idea of gradually reducing the basic package for public medical services and the necessary set up of complementary health insurance.
Q2. Do you expect any incentives at all in your industry in the months to come? What are the immediate concerns regarding the future of Romania’s insurance market and how do you see them being tackled?
As the health system reform shapes up right now, it will entail fiscal incentives for the private health insurance beneficiaries. The deductibility is a prerequisite which might “nurture” the success of the reform implementation. Another issue important to the insurance industry refers to the household insurance system. We believe an update of the framework and the mechanisms which represent the basis for the system functioning would be more than welcome and we support the co-insurance option. When, basically, every insurer with competence in property insurance will issue its own insurance policy providing protection against nat cat risks in compliance with the formula and limits defined by the Law 260- the insurer being PAID and against facultative risks (even catastrophic, above the limits assumed by PAID and against facultative risks)- covered by the policy issuer. Also, Romania it should be taken into account the possibility of granting fiscal incentives to the life insurance policy holders with maturity over 5 years. Such an approach would contribute to the revival of the life insurance segment in Romania, where there can be noticed a significant development gap as compared to the European markets- not only Western markets, but also Central and Eastern European markets.
Q3. What do you make of the establishment of a sole financial supervision authority that shall monitor the insurance, capital market and pension funds altogether? Is it going to help your business, and, most importantly, is it going to help the society and economy?
At this time, the information regarding the future of the financial supervisory body is quite vague. Therefore it is difficult to evaluate the specific effects on the markets functioning. We expect to be -as the actors on the markets part of the integrated supervised area- consulted in this respect. We believe the points of view of the professional associations from the insurance, pensions and capital markets area should be taken into account since we are discussing aspects which will directly impact the financial markets these associations operate in.