Insurance Sector in Serbia for Q3 2023

The National Bank of Serbia, Insurance Supervision Department, issued a report on the insurance sector in Serbia for Q3 2023. When it comes to market participants, there are no changes; at the end of Q3 2023, the insurance market in Serbia comprised twenty insurance and reinsurance companies.

Sixteen of these twenty were engaged in insurance activities only, and four were engaged in reinsurance activities. If we take a closer look at insurance companies, the report states that four were exclusive life insurers, six were exclusive non-life insurers, and six provided both life and non-life insurance.

When it comes to ownership in the insurance sector in Serbia for Q3 2023, fifteen insurance companies were in majority foreign ownership. This led to foreign-owned insurance and reinsurance companies holding majority shares of life insurance premiums (85.7%), non-life insurance premiums (61.0%), total assets (70.0%), and employment (64.8%).

Apart from insurance and reinsurance companies, there were also other participants in the insurance market, such as banks, financial lessors, insurance brokerages, insurance agents, and certified agents and brokers in insurance. The structure of these other participants in the insurance sector in Serbia for Q3 2023 was:

  • 15 banks,
  • 9 financial lessors and public postal operators who are licensed for insurance agency activities,
  • 111 legal entities (insurance brokerage and agency  services),
  • 76 insurance agents (natural persons—entrepreneurs), and
  • 4,323 active certified agents or brokers in insurance.

When it comes to insurance portfolio structure, the total premium in the insurance sector in Serbia for Q3 2023 amounted to RSD 115.6bn (EUR 986mln or USD 1,068mln), a rise of 16.3% relative to the same period last year. In the composition of the premium, the share of life insurance premiums dropped from 20.3% in Q3 2022 to 18.5% in Q3 2023, due to higher nominal growth in non-life insurance premiums than in life insurance premiums.

When examining the premium structure by type of insurance, Q3 2023 data somewhat resembled that of the same period in 2022. The largest share of the total premium (29.9%) was accounted for by motor vehicle liability insurance this time, followed by property insurance (19.2%), life insurance (18.5%), full coverage motor vehicle insurance (“kasko”) (10.6%), and voluntary health insurance (10%).

It is notable that motor third-party liability (MTPL) rose by 18.4% year over year in Q3 2023 and that three companies with the largest share in the MTPL insurance premium accounted for 58.1% of the market in Q3 2023, compared to 57.7% in the same period last year.

Blue Card System began to operate between Russia and Belarus

The first agreement concluded by the Russian Association of Motor Insurers (RSA), within the framework of the Blue Card System with the Belarusian Transport Insurance Bureau (BBTS), began to operate in full on September 2, 2023.

On June 30, 2023, the Council of Bureaux suspended the membership of the Belarusian and Russian  Green Card Bureaux from participation in the Green Card System. Due to this suspension, an agreement on the “Blue Card” was concluded between the RSA and the BBTS on June 1, 2023. In accordance with this agreement, after June 30, drivers still have the opportunity to issue policies for trips to the Republic of Belarus, while the policies already issued have continued their validity.

Additionally, agreements with the National Associations of Motor Insurance of Turkey and Azerbaijan were reached, ensuring the validity of “Green Card” contracts signed before July 1, 2023, for the entire time period for which they were granted. With these associations, agreements that are comparable to those with the BBTS are also being negotiated.

The agreement reached between the RSA and the BBTS came into full effect on September 2, 2023. With a few exceptions, it specifies regulations for the “Blue Card,” which are essentially the same as those for the “Green Card” system. Thus, “Green Card” forms are now being issued as proof that the contract was signed, and fresh “Blue Card” forms will be provided starting on January 1, 2024.

Through checking the availability of insurance by state registration in the bureau’s centralized databases, a request for confirmation of insurance can be issued for both an identified and an unidentified policy. The insurance confirmation request will be answered within six weeks, just like before. The vehicle in this case was previously only recognized as insured when sending a request under an identified contract, but unlike the “Green Card” system, any vehicle is recognized as insured in the absence of a response, regardless of which policy the request was sent to, identified or unidentified.

Since settlements were previously made in euros, the primary settlement currency is now the country where the accident occurred.

We find this to be important news since the effects of these decisions and agreements are yet to be determined.

EU Parliament adopted new rules to improve protection of road accident victims

The revised motor insurance regulations are designed to ensure that all EU nationals are treated fairly in the event of accidents and while purchasing auto insurance.

Whether an accident happens in the victim’s home country or somewhere else in the EU, they are still protected by the legislation. The revised regulations, which were approved today with 689 votes in favor, 3 votes against, and 4 abstentions, are meant to enhance and fix gaps in the present Motor Insurance Directive (text of the Fourth motor insurance Directive can be found on our Insights page, under Publications sector).

Negotiators from the Parliament and Council ensured that victims of traffic accidents receive compensation even if the insurance provider goes out of business when they reached a tentative agreement on the text on June 22, 2022. Additionally, when a policyholder transfers from one EU member state to another, discrimination won’t occur thanks to an EU-harmonised “Claims History Statement.” New free and independent pricing comparison tools will make it easier for citizens to compare the costs, tariffs, and coverage provided by various providers.

The amended wording harmonizes the mandatory minimum amounts of coverage across the EU, without limiting any additional assurances that the Member States may impose, to maintain the same minimal degree of protection for victims:

  • for personal injuries: € 6 450 000 per accident, irrespective of the number of injured parties, or € 1 300 000 per injured party;
  • for damage to property, € 1 300 000 per accident, irrespective of the number of injured parties.

The modified regulations exempt electric bicycles, mobility scooters, and garden tractors from insurance requirements in order to minimize overregulation. The directive does not apply to vehicles built solely for motorsports.