The FINANCIAL — Croatian bancassurer Erste osiguranje is due to merge with Wiener osiguranje at the end of April 2018, subject to the approval by local authorities. Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) is looking to capitalise on the strengths of its two Croatian brands by combining them in a single company, with a view to expanding the bancassurance business.
Bundling resources and competences
Following similar steps in Hungary, Slovakia and Austria, the supervisory boards of VIG’s Group companies in Croatia have given the go-ahead for their merger. In line with preceding decisions elsewhere, the merger in Croatia is aimed at strengthening the bancassurance business, with a focus on non-life and health insurance. “Bundling the companies’ resources and competences will generate the maximum benefit for customers, the bank and the insurer. The bancassurance brand will also remain in place for customers of the Erste Group subsidiary in Croatia,” explained Vienna Insurance Group CEO Elisabeth Stadler.
VIG: Croatia’s fourth-largest insurer
Vienna Insurance Group entered the Croatian insurance market in 1999, and launched its bancassurance business in Croatia in 2005 in cooperation with its partner Erste Group. VIG is currently the fourth-largest insurance company in Croatia, with a market share of 8.5 percent. Vienna Insurance Group aims to increase its market share in the country to at least 10 percent in the medium term. In the first three quarters of 2017, the two Croatian Group companies reported combined premium income of around EUR 77 million and total profit (before taxes) of about EUR 6 million. VIG’s combined ratio in Croatia was 99.3 percent in the third quarter of 2017.
Wiener osiguranje takes high-profile award
After recording strong financial performance and high customer satisfaction levels, Wiener osiguranje recently registered another outstanding success: this year the VIG Group company was named the best insurer on the Croatian market. The company was presented with the Croatian Economic Chamber’s prestigious Zlatna Kuna (Golden Marten) award at a special ceremony held on 13 November 2017.