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The Warsaw Voice » Other » April 7, 2010
Germany in Poland
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A Market Full of Opportunities
April 7, 2010 By Marcin Mierzejewski   
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Witold Bej-Bełkowski, chairman of life insurance company HDI-Gerling Życie Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń SA, talks to Marcin Mierzejewski.

You have years of job experience in the insurance sector. How has Poland's life insurance market changed over the years?
The Polish insurance market became attractive to foreign investors after the law on the insurance business came into force some time ago. The market opened up and consumers were offered world-class products. Today every insurance company offers interesting products that can also be found on other markets. As far as demand for insurance services is concerned, Poland still has a long way to go. Recent data show that 60 percent of the Polish population do not have a single insurance policy. With that in mind, insurance companies still have vast opportunities for growth in both life and property insurance. And since the property insurance sector is far more developed in terms of consumer awareness and needs, the void in the life insurance sector is so wide that insurance companies will have a lot of work for many years to come.
What are the strategic goals of HDI-Gerling Życie?
We want to have a comprehensive strategy for the company's development ready by July. For now, I can only speak of certain priorities that I want to include in our strategic goals. We would like to become a multi-product company capable of providing customers with something that will be just right for them regardless of the market situation.
n Have any decisions been made about the future of
HDI-Gerling Życie?
We will soon launch a major computerization project that we hope will improve all the processes within the company and thus provide our employees with much more comfort at work. We are focusing our efforts on fostering dynamic development and high sales potential. This means we need to launch a sales offensive to make sure that HDI-Gerling Życie has a much better position among life insurers in Poland.
The Talanx corporation, which owns HDI-Gerling Życie, is a universal insurer that operates on many market segments, including property insurance, life insurance,
reinsurance and other financial services. Talanx, which entered Poland in 2002, owns three companies, HDI-Gerling Życie, HDI-Asekuracja, and HDI-Gerling. What role should a life insurance company play?

Talanx has started a worldwide program called Focus, with a set of decisions on how companies should be managed in Germany and other countries. In my opinion, one of the most important decisions Talanx has made is to stimulate the development of the insurance market outside Germany, because Germany is so saturated with insurance products that expansion and development opportunities are limited there. In contrast, the Polish market has huge development potential. The Polish companies
HDI-Asekuracja and HDI-Gerling will merge into a single strong entity on the insurance market here. HDI-Gerling Życie has played an important role, given the growing popularity of voluntary life insurance, which consumers increasingly see in terms of financial protection for themselves and their families.
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