8. Croatian Actuarial Conference entitled “Excellence in new challenges” was held

The eighth Croatian Actuarial Conference entitled “Excellence in new challenges” was held on December 7 and 8, 2023 in the hotel “Dubrovnik”. The conference was organized by the Croatian Actuarial Association (CAA).

As in previous years, this year’s conference was held with the sponsorship of the Ministry of Finance and the Croatian Financial Services Supervisiory Agency, as well as the partnership of the Croatian Insurance Bureau and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce. Experts from Croatia and abroad participated in the conference giving their insight into various topics relevant to the actuarial and insurance profession.

Mrs. Lidija Pecigoš Višnjić, president of the Croatian Actuarial Association, opened the conference by thanking the sponsors who made it possible to hold the conference in person after several years of online conferences due to the pandemic. In recent years, actuaries have faced a variety of challenges – changes in the accounting standard and macroeconomic and regulatory challenges. The conference included an overview of some of the most interesting challenges of the actuarial profession on various topics.

As in previous years, the first presentation at the conference was the overview of the regulator, the Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency, on the insurance market. Mrs. Ljiljana Marić, Director of the Insurance, Leasing and Factoring Supervision Sector of HANFAe, presented the challenges of the insurance industry in 2023 through interesting indicators.

In the past period, the decline in life insurance premiums continued and an increase in non-life insurance premiums was recorded. While life insurances recorded a drop in liquidated claims, non-life insurances recorded a significant increase in liquidated claims in the first three quarters of 2023 compared to the same period of the previous year, in the amount of as much as 15.6%. Nevertheless, thanks to the reduction in the cost quota, the combined quota in 2023 during the first quarter of 2023 was lower than at the end of 2022.

Mrs. Marić also provided an insight into the data on the inflation trends, which show a decline in inflation in the European Union and Croatia. Despite the above, uncertainties in the macroeconomic and financial environment are still high, which is why the risk of companies’ profitability is assessed to be higher in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

IFRS17, sustainable financing and DORA (Digital Operational Resilience Act) are some of the current topics that were in the focus of regulators during 2023, and the challenges they bring will require additional engagement in future periods as well.

After the regulator’s review of the insurance market, Mr. Imrich Lozsi from Tools4F presented his lecture “Insurers’ performance from investors’ perspective”, showing the key indicators used in evaluating the performance of insurance companies after the new accounting standard IFRS 17 came in force. On the sample of the selected insurance companies, mainly positive impact of the transition to IFRS 17 was observed. With the conclusion that IFRS 17 provides a better view of the results, he pointed out actuaries as key participants in the calculation of information for investors.

Mr. Rudi Lipovec from Triglav Group gave an insight into the historical data on inflation in non-life insurance and emphasized the importance of an appropriate approach to measuring the inflation. Using the example of the impact of inflation on non-life insurance claims, which are usually paid out over several years, he drew attention to the necessity of timely adjustment of non-life insurance premiums.

Mrs. Maja Jeršek and Mr. Marko Hunjak from Croatia osiguranje presented a view on the “other side of the balance sheet”, through their lecture “Methodologies and concepts of investment”. Maja Jeršek emphasized the need to align investments with the business model and showed an insight into the steps and methods of decision-making when choosing an investment.

The transition to IFRS 17 marked the past year for a significant part of actuaries. The main postulates of the new standard and the first impressions about the success in achieving the goals of the standard were presented by Mrs. Andreja Radić Blažin and Mrs. Marija Čamber from Uniqua. Large requirements for human resources and significant adaptations of the IT system in the cooperation with the actuaries and other departments were presented as the biggest requirements of the new standard.

At the end of the last day, a lecture by Mr. Yazan Dahu from Taha Actuaries & Consultants from Dubai attracted a lot of attention. Mr. Dahu gave an overview of health insurance and a comparison of the situation in Croatia, the Middle East and North Africa region. Despite demographic and cultural differences, there are also significant universal factors that have an impact on the annual amounts of health insurance payouts per insured. Through his lecture, Mr. Dahu explained how seasonality, age, gender, but also the choice of health institution, excess and other factors affect different health insurance payouts, which will help actuaries during the development of health insurance products in Croatia.

The second day of the conference was opened by Mr. Toni Milun from the University of Algebra, who gave a rich presentation of investment opportunities using the example of investing in various financial instruments and insights into historical trends, while emphasizing the basic principles that should be followed when investing.

Cyber insurance became a hot topic in recent years. Mr. Krešimir Frančić gave a detailed insight into this type of insurance, the opportunities brought by the growth of this market and the challenges for which the Croatian market still needs to find an adequate answer. With the further digitization of business and increasingly demanding directives, it is expected that cyber insurance will grow further in the European Union, and this topic will be increasingly interesting to actuaries in the years to come.

News in the European directive related to the digital sector with the impact on the financial sector, but in this lecture from the legal point of view, was presented by Mrs. Melita Markovinović from the Croatian Pension Insurance Company in the lecture “What DORA brings us – Regulation of digital operational resilience for the financial sector”.

Mrs. Marija Kazija presented the results of the mortality analysis of the insurance market, which was conducted by the Working Group for Review of Mortality Tables at HAD using the data from Croatian insurers. The observed number of deaths in the selected periods was significantly lower than the expected number of deaths according to the population tables TS RH 2010-2012, and the movements of these ratios depending on age, gender, type of insurance and method of the premium payment provided a very interesting insight into the data on mortality of the life insurance market.

The market of motor vehicles and their technological innovations significantly influence the insurance market. Examples of such influences were given by Mr. Drago Špoljarić from Visage Technologies in his interesting lecture “Does the technological revolution in the automotive industry affect insurance risk?”.

The conference was closed by Mr. Ivica Skender from GDi with the presentation “Is there a secret connection between risk and location?”.

The conference was hosted by Mrs. Snježana Bertoncelj. The conference was held under the silver sponsorship of Croatia osiguranje d.d., Croatian Pension Insurance Company d.d. (HRMOD) and Generali osiguranje d.d., bronze sponsors were Merkur osiguranje d.d. and Uniqua osiguranje, while the media sponsors were Osiguranje.hr and Svijet osiguranja.

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