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The Warsaw Voice » Other » April 8, 2009
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HDI-Gerling Życie: A Reliable Partner for the Future
April 8, 2009   
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Combining the traditional security of insurance with business acumen is the philosophy of HDI-Gerling Życie Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń SA life insurance company. Its approach to investment is based on the current economic situation and client needs, Sławomir Walery¶, chairman of the board, tells Magdalena Fabijańczuk.

HDI-Gerling Życie is part of Talanx, the third-largest insurance corporation in germany and the eighth largest in Europe, operating in 150 countries. How does this affect your operations?
Thanks to the HDI-Gerling Group's strong international position we have attained a strong place on the market among companies offering both group and individual life insurance. We operate all over Poland through 30 individual sales branches and 15 regional group offices. Being a part of the Talanx Group allows us to minimize the effects of the economic slowdown that is becoming noticeable on the insurance market.

How far reaching are the changes the crisis has caused in the insurance market?
It has certainly had a negative impact. Life insurance has again become something of a luxury item. On one hand, it's worth taking out insurance, but people's tough financial situation causes them to reduce spending, including on insurance.

For several years insurance companies generated new sales mainly through typically savings-oriented single premium products. This trend started collapsing in the second half of 2007, with the first serious stock market drops. That's when combined protective and investment insurance with regular premiums became more popular for those who wanted to invest money.

What are the strong points of HDI-Gerling Życie?
We focus on unit-linked insurance. These are long-term policies with investment funds. Our range includes over 80 of the investment funds operating in Poland. Clients can manage their financial resources. Poles still want to take risks and make money. Our flagship product is called Mega Kapitał and provides access to the largest and constantly expanding list of insurance capital funds. This is a flexible policy, adapted to changing market conditions.

It's also worth noting that the Polish public's awareness has increased regarding issues like securing the future of their children and the stability offered by a safeguard in the form of insurance. Dowry insurance has been an example of an answer to this need.

What is attractive about this type of product?
Our new product, Mega Posag, responds ideally to market needs by combining savings with insurance protection. Systematic investment in insurance capital funds allows policy-holders to accumulate capital that can then be spent on their child's education, buying a home or other important goals leading to independence.

Is the company changing its strategy due to the current financial market situation?
The basis of our strategy, regardless of the situation, is to provide the best insurance to match market needs, and to organize a professional sales network and guarantee top-quality customer service. We stick to our core business.

What is the forecast for the insurance sector in the coming months?
The insurance sector will witness growing competition in group insurance. In financially unstable times this is a very dependable business. Today HDI-Gerling Życie has over 140,000 group clients and 50,000 individual clients. It also needs saying that the crisis is a test for us all and at the same time an opportunity for the best companies to develop.

I think we are among the best.
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