Turkey retains its attractiveness to foreign investors in the insurance sector because of energy, infrastructure and other new projects undertaken or planned in line with the government’s 2023 Vision, says Mr Maximilian Stahl, CEO of Istanbul-based VHV Reassurance. The 2023 Vision seeks to establish Turkey as one of the world’s top economies by 2023 which will be the centenary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923.
In an interview with Insurance Gazette, Mr Stahl said: “We think that 2018 will be a profitable year for insurance. It is observed that the growth of the country’s economy in 2017 is a factor in upward expectations for the new year. When we look at the insurance sector, we can talk about the growth in the double digits in line with these expectations.”
Mr Stahl says that demand for construction and engineering insurance would rise. At the same time, the need for insurance for renewable energy risks because of increased investments, and for cyber risks because of the frequency of attacks, are actively discussed.
Last year, transportation, construction, engineering and fire insurance were the most prominent branches of business. Referring to the 2017 industry performance, Mr Stahl said however: “When evaluating growth rates, we can say that when we ignore the effect of inflation, the growth is below the levels expected outside of life. Nevertheless, we think that the insurance sector has passed a successful test in this difficult year, despite fluctuations in exchange rates and political factors.”
Referring to natural disasters, Mr Stahl says that it has been estimated that insured losses arising from the floods in Istanbul on 18, 21 and 27 July last year reached TRY800 million (US$210 million). He says that such events are expected to recur frequently and insurers will become more careful. He said: “As a result, we can say that natural phenomena such as floods can affect prices and agreements.”