URALSIB Insurance CEO Sirma Gotovats recently took part in the Insurance Business Russia conference held by business newspaper "Vedomosti."
Gotovats spoke about issues facing the insurance industry with Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization.
"In my opinion, all fears are premature," Gotovats said. "Certainly, foreign colleagues have solid experience, infrastructure and resource support from parent companies. However, I see no real prerequisites for mass entry into the Russian market for foreign insurers. [We have] not yet resolved a number of systemic problems: regulatory approaches, legal conflicts... low level of public confidence in the financial institutions. This all affects the profitability of the industry and its investment attractiveness."
Gotovats said many major foreign players have already left the market in Russia or have substantially reduced their presence. Among the potential risk areas for Russian insurers, Gotovats said, are life insurance, investment insurance and online insurance.
"While in these areas, foreign companies have strong competitive advantages...to ensure that these threats do not become a reality, we need to focus on areas such as completion of a long-term industry development strategy that takes into account the interests of insurers, standardization of regulations and the assessment of the damage, with the exception of legal conflicts, as well as the professionalization of the industry, including the field of improving the level of customer service," Gotovats said.
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