Insurance Market and Regulatory Developments in the Western Balkan Countries – Challenges and Perspectives
Dr. Klime Poposki, President of the Council of Expert of the Insurance Supervision Agency, R. Macedonia
The Western Balkans countries have undergone a major economic transformation over the past 15 years. Following the conflict in the 1990s, these countries set out to comprehensively rebuild and reform their economies. They have opened up to global trade and have become increasingly export-oriented, have expanded the role of the private sector, dismantled regulations to foster business development, and have begun to build institutions needed to support a market system. Banking, insurance and pension systems have been built up—literally from scratch in some cases—with the aid of foreign capital and know-how. The result of these efforts has been robust economic growth, a significant rise in incomes and living standards, and enhanced macroeconomic and financial stability.
The economic development in the Western Balkan countries is strongly connected with the European integration process. The EU accession aspirations challenge the Western Balkans to reform their insurance market and legal framework. The insurance industry has undergone so far significant transformation processes in terms of liberalization, ownership structure, market structure, product development, regulation and supervision.
Compared to the EU average, the insurance market in the Western Balkan countries is underdeveloped, but in the recent decade it has been developing moderately under the influence of various factors, primarily economic, monetary, financial, fiscal, but also demographic and political developments - including the EU accession process. The insurance data show that the average growth rate of gross written premiums in the Western Balkan countries for the period 2010 – 2017 is positive, exceeding the negative average growth rate for the same period in the EU region and respectively in Western Europe and Central Eastern European sub regions.
To fully benefit from insurance, the Western Balkan countries need to have a regulatory and supervisory framework in place that fosters trust in the insurance industry. In that respect, there is a strong commitment for the gradual implementation of EU insurance directives into national legislation, the harmonization with the insurance core principles and the construction of independent, effective, and professional insurance supervisory authorities.
The presentation will provide an overview on the insurance business challenges and the perspectives for six Western Balkan countries (Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina) by identifying the key driving factors from the insurance supply and demand side. A special focus will be given to the regulatory and supervisory aspects. Possible solutions for a sustainable insurance market development will be developed in order to narrow the protection gap. They will result in the need of a multi–stakeholder engagement to create an environment in which insurers can operate effectively and efficiently.
Klime Poposki is the President of the Council of Experts, the management body of the Insurance Supervision Agency of Republic of Macedonia, since it was established in 2009. He was re-elected for a second term in 2014 by approval from the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia.
He started his professional career in 1995 as a banker on treasury department for e period of 4 years. After 1999 Klime joined the University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Ohrid as a teaching assistant, starting with building his academia career as a researcher and lecturer. After he earned his Ph.D from the Faculty of Economics, University "Ss. Cyril and Methodius" in 2006, under the supervision of Professor Tom Aiuppa from University of Wisconsin US, Klime was elected as an Assistant Professor and since 2013 as an Associate Professor, teaching risk management and insurance courses. During his affluent academia career he participated in several projects as consultant, trainer, and expert in the area of risk management, insurance and financial management.
In the field of scientific research work he has given his contribution through 30 published research papers in international and domestic journals focusing on relationships between economic developments and insurance, the insurance industry and financial markets, asset liability management, and insurance regulation.
He is a member of the Supervisory Forum – high level body within the International Association of Insurance Supervisors and member of the Board of Governors of the Asia Pacific Risk Insurance Association.