The FINANCIAL — Vakhtang Dekanosidze, CEO of Partner Insurance Company is forecasting that in 2009 and the coming years, health and auto insurance is still going to be the most popular insurance product for Georgians. Partner was named the fastest growing company on the Georgian insurance market in 2008. The CEO expects that the amount of attracted premiums will reach GEL 7,000,000 in 2009 despite the ongoing financial crisis.
“If you look over the portfolios of the major Georgian insurance companies you’ll see that more than 50% are represented with health and auto insurance. This will be the case for the next few years,” Vakhtang Dekanosidze told The FINANCIAL.
Partner became the first insurance company in Georgia to introduce the social programme “Insurance of National Wealth”. Paata Burchuladze, the well known Georgian Bass became the first policy holder.
“We were the first insurers who started working in this direction. Paata Burchuladze’s voice was insured for GEL 200,000. This was the maximum premium that the legislation allowed us to accept. The next step in this direction will be bringing in other Georgian national wealth, such as historical and cultural monuments that are important for society. However at the moment we will restrain from naming specific objects we plan to insure, as the social programme is still in the process of development.
Partner is a relatively new company; nevertheless it was named as the fastest growing company in the Georgian insurance sector by the Georgian Financial Supervisory Agency in 2008. As the CEO of Partner says this was due to the approach that his company has to customers. In 2008 Partner attracted premiums of GEL 4,200,000. This year the company expects to increase this amount to GEL 7,000,000.
“We managed to fulfil our customers’ expectations. Partner’s greatest achievement is its satisfied customers. Our main objective is to provide high quality insurance products and create unique insurance services. These objectives unite our team, which is loyal to Partner’s main principles,” he continues.
“Partner’s clients are confident that we will do everything to cover their losses in as short a time as possible. In insurance we’re selling promises and our primary goal is to live up to the expectations of our clients. I think that from this point of view Partner is the leading insurer in Georgia. For instance, in auto insurance the losses are covered in 3-4 days. At the same time all of the documents needed for reimbursements are collected by representatives of Partner, so that clients can save time and energy.”
Partner practices a system which in its essence is close to personal banking. Each client is ascribed to a personal insurer who takes care of all of the legal procedures and document collection on behalf of the client.
Also the company has chosen a personal selling strategy in health insurance. Compared to other insurance companies Partner doesn’t have many branches and Vakhtang Dekanosidze explains that in this way the company can compensate for the gap between clients and the company.
“The reason why we chose personal selling is to get closer to potential clients. In this we increase the effectiveness of our work. It’s true that we pay more to our employees, but this is an inevitable, if you want to live up to expectations,” he adds.
Partner was founded in 2007 by Management Consulting Group, which is a member of one of the biggest financial groups in Georgia. Management Consulting Group is active in the industrial fields of Energy, Real Estate, Transport, Construction and Agriculture.
Independently, as well as in cooperation with their key partners from Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, Management Consulting Group has founded companies in all major fields: oil products import and distribution (“SOCAR Energy Georgia” Ltd, “SOCAR Georgia Gas” Ltd, “SOCAR Georgia Petroleum” Ltd, “Black Sea Terminal” Ltd (a.k.a Kulevi Oil Terminal), “Black Sea Industry” Ltd insurance (“Partner insurance” Ltd.), banking (JSC “International Bank of Azerbaijan Georgia”), real estate (“Georgian Construction” Ltd.) transnational investment projects (“AG Construction” – construction company working on the railway project connecting Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan), road construction (“International Railway Company” Ltd.), trading and freight forwarding (“BSI Trans”, “Transcorporation”), stevedoring (“Prometco Georgia” Ltd., “G.S.Co” Ltd. – operators of berths # 3,4 and 6 in the Poti Sea Port), and container terminals (“Kaisa-2” Ltd., “Cautrex Poti” Ltd.).
Vakhtang Dekanosidze claims that compared with thebanking sector the situation in the insurance sector is very different.
“While talking about banks and insurance we should keep track of the differences in the products themselves. The risks with loans are much higher than with insurance products. Clients either buy or don’t buy policies. Due to the financial crisis customers have tightened their belts and this has influenced sales in our sector too. Yet the overall picture on the insurance market is conducive,” he notes.
As the CEO says Partner has quite a diversified portfolio. The company works on: aviation, terminal operator’s liability insurance, machinery breakdown insurance, general third party liability insurance, commercial crime insurance, motor insurance, health insurance, life insurance, property insurance, cargo insurance, freight forwarder’s liability insurance.
A year and a half ago Partner employed only 5 people and today this number has increased to 30. The CEO states that it’s thanks to the positioning strategy that Partner has chosen.
“One of our strengths is the top management of Partner and the professionals who work here. Our employees were recruited from different leading companies on the market. This helps us in delivering the value and quality of service that customers expect from us. The professionalism and devotion to work has resulted in becoming the fastest growing insurance company in Georgia and this year we are surely going to meet our targets despite the financial crisis,” he concludes.
And here are some of the strangest examples of celebrity body part insurance:
Mariah Carey’s legs – USD 1,000,000,000
Jennifer Lopez’s rear – USD 27,000,000
Rod Stewart’s rusty voice – USD 6,000,000
Written By Levan Lomtadze