Life insurance appeals to Rosgosstrakh: “this market is growing rapidly,” explained the representative of the company. Over the nine months of last year (there are no statistics for the year yet), life insurance premiums increased by 56.8% to 229.4 billion rubles. (data of the Association of Life Insurers). At year-end 2017, they will exceed 300 billion rubles as predicted by Igor Zhuk, Director of Insurance Market Department of the Central Bank. The regulator now considers life insurance to be “the only significant driver of the insurance market,” he noted in the survey.
The representative of Rosgosstrakh did not mention the expected amount of premiums of the new insurer and possible investments in it. One has to invest at least 240 million rubles, by law, this is now the minimum share capital for life insurers. For 2016 and 2017 Rosgosstrakh received 85 billion rubles of financial assistance from Otkrytie FC. Over nine months of the last year the loss of the insurer increased by 60% to 35,3 billion rubles.
“The simultaneous operation of RGS Life and “subsidiary” of Rosgosstrakh can lead to confusion among clients,” Alexey Gorodissky fears, a partner of the law firm Andrey Gorodissky and Partners. He believes that the brand-related issue has been resolved as part of division of the companies and the RGS Life uses Rosgosstrakh trademark under a license agreement and may stop using it in future. The RGS trademark belongs to Rosgosstrakh, its representative says. If Rosgosstrakh creates its own life insurer, “RGS Life” will likely not be able to sell policies through its network. The representative of RGS Life did not mention about how much the company's share of sales account for the offices of Rosgosstrakh and Otkrytie FC.
The interest of Rosgosstrakh in creating the life insurer hold water,” Yevgeny Sharapov believes, the Deputy Director of ACRA rating agency. The most successful strategy for a life insurer is selling its products at large retail banks. “As of January 1st, the aggregate deposit base of Binbank, Otkrytie FC and Rosgosstrakh Bank (all of them are part of the perimeter of the Central Bank's Banking Sector Consolidation Fund. – Vedomosti newspaper) is about 850 billion rubles,” Sharapov points out. “It's higher only with Sberbank and VTB.”
“Unsurprisingly, the industry attracts new players - over the last couple months the emergence of two new players became known,” reasons Alexey Rudenko, CEO of Sberbank Life Insurance. In January, the Central Bank issued a license to carry out voluntary life insurance to the subsidiary of Rosselkhozbank which is RSHB - Life Insurance (the last of the state-owned banks that did not deal with this kind of insurance). Last week, BCS FG registered the “subsidiary” and is currently preparing documents for obtaining the life insurance license.
Rudenko believes that the life insurer of Rosgosstrakh has every chance to enter the top ten in the first year of its performance. The network, experience of selling life insurance policies and a developed banking channel will contribute to it. Sberbank established the life insurer in 2012, for the first year it collected 9.1 billion rubles, recent years - an unconditional leader.
Central Bank and Otkrytie FC did not respond to inquiries.