In 2019 claims and benefits paid by Polish insurers reached almost PLN 42 million. At the end of the year combined assets of Polish insurance companies amounted to PLN 194 billion. There are over 30 thousand exclusive and independent agents and 240 thousand persons carrying out agency activities in Poland.

More information about the Polish insurance market can be found in our brochure “Insurance in figures 2019. Insurance market in Poland“.

In light of the coronavirus threat, in the interest of comfort and safety of participants, the Management Board of the PIU has decided to postpone this year’s PIU Congress until 5-6 May 2021. The congress will be held in the Sheraton Hotel in Sopot.

Statistically, an average Pole expects to live 77 years. In this respect, we are the biggest pessimists among the inhabitants of the ten European countries that took part in the survey conducted by Insurance Europe in cooperation with the Polish Chamber of Insurance. Perhaps that is why it is not important to so many of us to save up for retirement.

The survey shows that 47% of Poles are not saving up for retirement. One in four of us doesn’t see the need to do so. Those who are saving seem to have a very optimistic outlook on the future. Among the inhabitants of all the surveyed countries, we have the most certainty that the funds accumulated will be sufficient for us in case we live longer than we expect. This was declared by more than a half of the respondents from Poland. Only slightly fewer people believe that in the event of their premature death, the savings will provide financial security for their closest relatives.

Saving for retirement – it doesn’t pay to wait!

‘In the midst of everyday matters, it is easy to put aside thoughts about the future, especially if we live well and are full of strength. However, it pays to ensure, already now, our security during retirement, as well as the security of our loved ones in the event of our inability to continue working, or even death. One of the best ways to do this is to have long-term savings and purchase a life insurance policy. Unfortunately, the Polish life insurance market has been shrinking for a long time. According to PIU data, after Q3 2019, the value of the premium decreased again by 3.1%’. – commented Piotr Wrzesiński, expert at the Polish Chamber of Insurance. – ‘The offer of private savings schemes by insurers is an important pillar in the pension system. It is characterised by additional protection against various risks, so it is worth considering’ – added Piotr Wrzesiński.

A narrow perspective

Poles who decide to buy a private pension product pay attention primarily to its costs, which are crucial for 68% of us. Compared to other European citizens, we attach relatively high importance to benefits (48% compared to the average for other countries surveyed, which stood at 43%). However, we do not look at investing from a broader perspective. Only 30% of respondents from Poland analyse the results of a pension product before choosing it. By comparison, almost 70% of respondents do so in Hungary.

Security and flexibility above all

When saving for retirement, we expect above all the security of investment. This was declared by almost a half of the respondents from Poland. It is also important for us to be able to inherit the funds saved by our loved ones (46%) and to withdraw the funds when we need them, even before we retire (43%). In addition, one in four respondents would like to get all their savings in a single disbursement so that they can manage them themselves. In this respect, only the respondents from Spain outrank us. The least interesting aspect for us is the so-called responsible investment, i.e. the impact of investments on the environment and society (8%).

Need for education

‘The results of our survey conducted jointly with Insurance Europe show the growing importance of financial education. Poles need to understand the need for additional savings for retirement, as well as the importance of security in the event of unforeseen events’ – commented Iwona Szczęsna, manager of the international cooperation team at the Polish Chamber of Insurance.

Insurance crime: in 2018, more than 12,000 cases of compensation and benefits extortion were detected, amounting to more than PLN 230 million. This is approx. 9% more than the year before. The vast majority of cases are successfully detected at the attempt-to-commit-a-crime stage. Most of the crimes (amounting approx. PLN 215 million) relate to property insurance, primarily motor insurance.

Detailed information is available in the PIU report.

Link to last year’s edition of the report.

You are invited to read the report by the Polish Chamber of Insurance, describing the bancassurance market in Poland after Q3 2019. The premium obtained in the bancassurance channel amounted to PLN 3.6 billion in Section 1 and 1.6 billion in Section 2.

Polish bancassurance market Q3 2019

After three quarters of 2019, insurers had paid out PLN 30.7 billion to the injured and customers. More than PLN 14 billion from this amount concerned life insurance, and another PLN 11 billion related to motor insurance. Compensation for damage caused by natural forces increased by as much as 23%.

Key insurance market figures after Q3 2019

– ‘Each hour of an insurer’s work means more than PLN 4.5 million in compensation and benefits for the injured. However, insurance is not only an advantage for the injured. It is also a long-term investment in the economy through funds invested in securities issued by the State’ – said J. Grzegorz Prądzyński, President of the Management Board of the Polish Chamber of Insurance.

Motor insurance market

Non-life market (Chapter 2 excluding motor insurance)

‘Expenditure on insurance related to natural forces is growing, but most of all, the value of compensation paid is increasing. At the end of September 2019, insurers paid out PLN 1.2 billion on account of natural forces, which is 23% more than the year before. The PIU report entitled ‘Climate of risk’ clearly shows that the frequency of violent weather events is going to increase in the coming years. Unfortunately, without a good risk management policy, we also need to be ready for increasing damage resulting from this fact’ – explained Andrzej Maciążek, Vice-President of the Management Board of PIU.

Life insurance market

‘The life insurance market in Poland is still shrinking, but the premium reduction in subsequent quarters is decreasing. It still results from lower sales of investment and savings insurance. At the same time, the segment of strictly protective insurance policies remains stable’ – said J. Grzegorz Prądzyński.

Insurers’ financial results

The technical result on life insurance amounted to PLN 2.5 billion and was 5.6% higher than the previous year. The technical result of non-life insurers amounted to PLN 2.1 billion and was 10.7% lower than a year before. The income tax payable by Polish insurers at the end of Q3 2019 amounted to PLN 1 billion and asset tax – approx. PLN 540 million.

At the end of September this year, over 2.8 million Poles had private health insurance, according to the latest data from the Polish Chamber of Insurance. The number of insured persons has increased by over 15% year on year. The most popular insurance is still one that provides quick access to specialist doctors and a wide range of diagnostic tests.

We spent almost PLN 640 million on private health insurance during three quarters of 2019. This is almost 9% more than the year before. ‘With such a growth dynamic, the number of insured persons will already exceed 3 million next year. This pace may increase even more. Everything depends on the direction of changes in the healthcare system’, said Dorota M. Fal, adviser to the Management Board of the Polish Chamber of Insurance.
Total healthcare expenditure in Poland is one of the lowest among developed countries. ‘We spend 6.3% of GDP on it, jointly from public and private funds, whereas the average for OECD countries is 8.8% of GDP’, commented Dorota M. Fal. ‘The low level of healthcare funding is the main cause of most problems of the Polish system. The introduction of additional health insurance on a massive scale could boost the efficiency of private spending and improve the healthcare situation of Poles’, she added.
The largest market share is invariably held by group insurance, financed or co-financed by employers. For employees, private healthcare is the most desirable non-wage benefit. In turn, employers are increasingly aware of the importance of workers’ health. According to CSO data from 2018, the average age of employees is increasing. Along with it, the probability of falling ill with a chronic disease increases. Additional health insurance with a narrow scope, offered as an additional contract for another policy, e.g. life insurance policy, is also becoming increasingly popular. In these cases, the premium is low, therefore the number of insured persons in Poland is growing faster than the premium.

You are invited to read the report by the Polish Chamber of Insurance, describing the bancassurance market in Poland after Q2 2019. The premium obtained in the bancassurance channel amounted to PLN 2.51 billion in Section 1 and 1.04 billion in Section 2.

Polish bancassurance market Q2 2019

In the first six months of 2019, we spent more than PLN 430 million on private health insurance. This is 12% more than last year. At the end of June of this year, private health insurance was used by more than 2.7 million people, i.e. 20% more than in the preceding year.

Poles see healthcare as a priority; therefore, they are more willing to take out insurance. In addition, private healthcare services (purchased outside regular insurance, out-of-pocket), are becoming more expensive. According to data provided by the Central Statistical Office, prices of medical services in July 2019 were higher by 5.6% compared to the previous year, and waiting lines for different specialists are becoming longer.

‘Furthermore, the number of users of group insurance is growing. Employers want to provide their employees with more access to medical services. This is due to medical issues on the one hand and the competition for workers on the other. According to the report “Additional benefits
in the eyes of employees in 2019”, compiled by Sedlak&Sedlak, an extra package of medical services was the most popular additional benefit desired by employees’,
– explains Dorota M. Fal, adviser to the Management Board of the Polish Chamber of Insurance..

The growing popularity of health insurance is also a response to the fear of illness. This is the risk which the residents of all OECD countries fear the most. In the ‘Risks That Matter’ study conducted in 21 OECD countries in 2018, as many as 54% of residents highlighted the risk of illness or disability.

In the first half of 2019, Poles received PLN 20.6 billion in insurance compensation. Each hour means as much as PLN 1 million in payments of compensation under TPO insurance for those injured in traffic accidents.

Key figures:

More compensation for damage cause by natural forces

More compensation for damage cause by natural forces
‘It is worth noting the increase in compensation payments under insurance against natural forces. Within six months, the injured received as much as 20% more than in the previous year. As we have already mentioned in our report “Climate of risk”, , extreme weather events will become more frequent in Poland
– says J. Grzegorz Prądzyński,President of the Polish Chamber of Insurance. In the first half of 2019, we spent PLN 1.8 billion on fire and weather insurance for households and companies, 5% more than in the previous year ‘However, like every year, the largest portion of the property insurance market was motor insurance. On TPO insurance for vehicles, we spent PLN 7.6 billion, i.e. 1% less than in the previous year, whereas on accident and theft insurance, we spent PLN 4.4 billion, which means 4.5% more than the year before – says Andrzej Maciążek, Vice-president of the Polish Chamber of Insurance.

Almost PLN 700 million in income tax

Poles spent more than PLN 10.6 billion on life insurance, which is 4.9% less than last year. Insurers paid out PLN 9.8 billion in benefits under life insurance, compared to PLN 10.8 billion the previous year. In Q2 of 2019, Polish insurers produced more than PLN 4.1 billion of net profit, which is 7.1% more than in the previous year. This means PLN 690 million in income tax for the State budget. In addition, insurance companies also paid approx. PLN 360 million of so-called asset tax.

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