The insurance sector still doesn’t play a sufficiently significant role and its potential has yet to be recognised, but I think we’ve been on the right track in recent years and I hope that the joint engagement of insurance companies and the state will reduce this gap in the near future, says Nebojša Šćekić, chief executive officer of insurance company Sava Osiguranje. This company is constantly seeking new space on the market for its products and is achieving enviable results.
You have ten years of successful operations behind you. What were the most important factors contributing to your success?
– We last year celebrated ten years of the successful operations of Sava Re on the Montenegrin market and summarised the results of that period. That’s not an overly long period, but it’s certainly long enough to have been marked by numerous events, especially for the kind of emerging market represented by the insurance market in Montenegro. During this time, we managed to improve the company’s operations significantly, growing in terms of the amount of premiums sold and claims paid, as well as in the number of employees hired and newly opened branches throughout our country.
In the last year we realised premiums worth 12.8 million euros and almost two million euros of profit, which is also the best result of the nonlife insurance market in Montenegro in the last year. The chief “culprits” in achieving such excellent results are primarily our company’s employees, who brought successful operations to the company with their professional relations and excellent engagements from year to year. Of course, I must also mention the help and support of our parent company from Ljubljana, which always has understanding for our requirements. Sava Osiguranje always has clients in its primary focus, and we strive to provide our clients with as many products and services, which are designed to cater for their specific needs. We want to achieve this through the digitalisation and technological modernisation of our operations, in order to be as ready as possible for the future.
You have announced a focus on property insurance. What kind of potential does this market segment have and what kind of results do you expect in the long run?
– Our market is dominated by compulsory and vehicle insurance, and that situation hasn’t changed much for years. Our intention to place an emphasis on property insurance in the future is primarily guided by the fact that this market segment is still insufficiently developed, while the potential is great. We expect to succeed in this in the period ahead, although a lot of time will be needed to achieve that. We will try to apply the experiences of our Group with the European market in order to provide our customers with a modern service and products that are offered on the most developed markets.
We strive to provide our clients with as many products and services as possible that are designed for their specific needs, and that’s also why we are committed to digitalisation and technological modernisation
To what extent do citizens and the state recognise the potential of the insurance market?
– They don’t recognise it enough. I can’t say that the insurance market doesn’t have a significant role in our country, but I can state with certainty that it doesn’t play a sufficiently significant role and that its potential has not yet been recognised. The average premium per capita, compared to some countries in our neighbourhood, is quite sufficient, but compared to Croatia or, say, Slovenia, we have a long way to go. And that’s without mentioning the most developed countries in Europe, because that’s still objectively incomparable. Not to be a pessimist, I think we’ve been on the right track in recent years and I hope the gap will be reduced in the near future through the joint engagements of insurance companies and the state.
You recently received an award as the most successful manager in Montenegro. How demanding is it to work in the insurance sector of a market that has yet to develop its potential?
– It is demanding, but at the same time challenging, because a market that’s developing always brings some new situations that compel you to additionally engage. It’s always necessary to compare yourself with those who are better, so in insurance we look towards developed EU markets, and we can easily see what our faults are and what needs to be done to improve the situation.
Sometimes there are also some existing things that we can’t influence, which slow us down in these efforts, but it is necessary to be persistent. It is important that you strive to secure the best possible position for your company, to gain the best possible reputation on the market and in society, to do business in a socially responsible way, which is important to us at our company, to take care of the environment and return something to the community you come from and in which you do business. Awards are confirmation that you are on the right track and provide you with the impetus and strength to continue.