Keeping Up With The Market – March 2023
Every month, we help you keep up with the Belgian and Luxembourg insurance markets.
Mergers and acquisitions
Exclusive negotiations for the French activities of Ageas
In mid-March, we learned that Ageas was in exclusive negotiations with Mutuelle Epargne Retraite Prévoyance Carac for the acquisition of its French activities (Ageas France, Ageas Retraite, Ageas Patrimoine and Sicavonline), which represent a net profit of 6,1 million euros.
Initially, there were four potential candidates but Carac finally won the race. For Ageas, the aim of the sale is to focus on the group’s core markets.
For the next step, the French personnel representatives will be consulted.
Foyer to acquire Globality
In Luxembourg, the insurer Foyer has purchased 100% of the shares held by ERGO in Globality.
With this purchase, Foyer wishes to “strengthen its position in international health insurance”. Indeed, Globality is an international health insurer and reinsurer specialized in insurance for expatriates.
To this end, Foyer has established a partnership with ERGO, in particular to integrate Foyer Global Health’s products and international private medical insurance into ERGO’s international distribution network.
Belfius Insurance’s Jaimy platform, which brings together the bancassurer’s customers wishing to carry out construction work with professionals, has been extended to the Dutch market.
Indeed, Belfius Insurance has joined forces with the Dutch insurer a.s.r to create Fixxer, the platform’s new name in the Netherlands. Belfius holds a 50% stake in this digital platform.
Additionally, the platform also offers a solution for customers with a damage insurance policy who want to carry out work after a loss. Customers can contact a professional directly via the platform. The Dutch insurer a.s.r. was particularly pleased with this service.
Last year, more than 36,000 construction projects were completed using the Jaimy platform.
Belgian insurance sector
Assuralia has published a report on the insurance sector in 2022. In total, the sector collected more than 30,5 billion euros, an increase of 2% compared to the previous year.
The life insurance sector saw an increase in premium income of 4.8% (€6 billion) for branch 21 insurance, while the latter saw a decrease in 2021. However, branch 23 insurance was affected by the stock market. Premium income fell by 10% (€3.4 billion).
In non-life, premium income remained stable compared to 2021 (€14.5 billion). Although premium income in the fire segment increased by 8%, the combined ratio is 125%, which means a decrease in profitability.
More information on results here.
Earlier this month, Belfius Insurance published its annual results. Despite the fact that the non-life insurance activity was affected by many factors such as inflation and climatic events, Belfius underlines an increase of 4.7% of its non-life premiums. Life premiums also increased by 7.6%, a rise explained by new insurance policies taken out in branch 21. However, life reserves decreased by 3.8%, due to the negative market impact on branch 23 products.
In addition, Belfius also announced the end of its Corona Direct brand. The activities of the brand will be integrated into Belfius Insurance.
Earlier this month, the insurer Baloise published its annual results. The company recorded a profit of €713.9 million at group level. Non-life premium volume decreased slightly to €4.017 million.
Regarding Belgian non-life gross premiums, in local currency, the premium volume showed a slight increase of 0.7%. In Luxembourg, the volume increased by 2.7%.
The Belgian life premium volume rose sharply by 11.2%. In Luxembourg, the volume decreased to €67.7 million (in 2021, the volume was € 75.4 million).
You can find more information on the annual results in the press release.
National Bank of Belgium
The National Bank of Belgium recently published its results for the year 2022 and recorded a loss of €580 million. This remains below the forecast given by the latter.
This loss is unsurprisingly due to the rise in interest rates. Indeed, the bank spent more money because of the deposit rate set by the ECB and paid more interest while the assets did not have a high return.
Moreover, the bank expects a loss of €10.8 billion over a 5-year period if interest rates continue to rise.
- End of long-term savings
- Belfius and its Corporate ESG Ambition project
- Assuralia’s figures on the attacks of 22 March 2016
- Outstanding IT Modernization award for AG
End of long-term savings
Minister of Finance Vincent Van Peteghem wants to eliminate long-term savings by 2024 in his tax reform bill. One of his objectives is to remove the tax advantage linked to this product. Indeed, by opting for long-term savings, investors benefit from a tax reduction of 30%.
Assuralia has commented on the proposal to remove this tax advantage and says it finds this choice “regrettable”.
Belfius and its Corporate ESG Ambition project
In order to support its corporate clients on the journey towards climate neutrality, Belfius has launched the Corporate ESG Ambition project.
This project is based on the fact that 33% of SMEs have not yet decided on sustainable objectives to implement when faced with ESG regulations and the main reason is that they do not know where to start.
With its platform, Belfius wants to support these companies in defining their objectives, proposing concrete solutions to be implemented on the basis of previously defined priorities.
Belfius will financially reward its corporate clients who have achieved their objectives.
Assuralia’s figures on the attacks of 22 March 2016
According to a report published by Assuralia, a total of €65.7 million was paid out by insurance companies to the victims of the attacks of 22 March 2016. However, an amount of €60.5 million is still available as a financial reserve for insurers to pay compensation to victims under the occupational injury insurance policy.
In addition to these figures, the report also presents the insurers’ initiative to take care of the victims of an attack in the future. For example, moral damage will be compensated one year after the attack at the latest. Additionally, a single insurer will take charge of the medical expertise so that the insured does not need to consult several doctors.
Outstanding IT Modernization award for AG
On the occasion of the 13th edition of the Belgian Corporate IT Awards, AG won the Outstanding IT Modernization award for its replatforming project.
With this project, AG migrated a mainframe to Windows distributed servers in one weekend without loss of availability, a world first.
The award is welcomed by the insurer as a recognition after CIO Philippe Van Belle was awarded the title of CIO of the Year 2022.
- Assuropolis, Belfius : résultats de l’assurance 2022
- Assuropolis, La marque Corona Direct disparait
- L’Echo, Les assureurs déplorent le projet de supprimer l’avantage fiscal de l’épargne à long terme.
- L’Echo, Ageas discute la cession de ses activités françaises
- Assuropolis, Assuralia : rapport annuel 2022
- Assuropolis, Belfius lancé le projet Corporate ESG Ambition
- Paperjam, Foyer acquiert Globality et renforce sa position sur le marché des expatriés
- Baloise, Chiffres clés provisoires à la clôture annuelle 2022
- Assuropolis, Derniers chiffres d’Assuralia sur les attentats du 22 mars 2016
- L’Echo, Belfius s’étend à l’international avec sa plateforme digitale Jaimy
- Communiqué de presse, AG récompensé aux Corporate IT Awards
- L’Echo, La perte de la BNB est légèrement inférieure aux prévisions