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Slovenian Insurance Sector Growing Despite Crisis

Portoroz, 03 June (STA) - Insurance business in Slovenia recorded growth last year despite the economic crisis. The overall premiums were up 2% compared to the year before, the boss of Slovenia's top insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav, Matjaz Rakovec, said at the outset of the 17th Days of Slovenian insurance industry in Portoroz on Thursday.

Property insurance grew last year by 4%, and health insurance by 6%, while premiums were down 2.8% in life insurance, Rakovec explained.

According to him, the results for the first three months of 2010 are also encouraging, as life insurance sector grew by 6% compared to the same period last year, and the overall premiums increased by 1.5%.

Rakovec believes that insurance companies will have to stabilise their primary activity, as covering losses in the main activity with profits from asset management is not sustainable any more.

Finance Minister Franc Krizanic commented on the decline in life insurance, which he attributed primarily to the issue of trust. He expects that the expected breakthrough in the economy will be followed by a growth in the life insurance sector and household borrowing.

The banking sector expects that Slovenians will borrow more extensively to improve their standard, he said, adding that Slovenians were one of the least indebted nations in the EU.

According to the minister, Slovenian insurance industry is facing an increasing amount of damage in agriculture caused by storms. The government provided EUR 30m in subsidies for insurance premiums related to climate change, and will continue with subsidies in the future.

Krizanic called on Slovenian insurance companies to stay in the agriculture sector as insurers of potential damage, to adjust the premiums policy and take into account the government's readiness to provide subsidies.

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