Insurance market in Hungary 2024

Hungarian insurance market moderately developed. With approximately 10 million inhabitants, country’s premium income in 2023 was 2,4 billion euros in non-life branch, and 1,5 billion in life.

Market is dominated by multinational companies. Based on premium received in last year largest groups are Vienna (19%), Generali (16%) and Allianz (15%). There are also three material independent players on the market: CIG (3%) is traded on Budapest stock exchange; its major ultimate shareholder is a Hungarian private person. Granit (formerly Waberer, 2%) was also established by a group of Hungarian private persons however now its ultimate shareholder is a Dutch hedge fund. KOBE (1%) is mutual.

Nowadays Hungarian insurance market witnesses a strong influence by the state. The government in order to save popularity decreases taxes on privates and corporates. However, to replace missing income certain sectors (telecom, airlines, banks, insurers) are suffering sectoral extra profit tax. For insurers this tax is based on annual premium income, and it is progressive: On life insurance its ratio is one to five per cent, while in non-life two to twelve. This must be paid on top of insurance tax which is 10-23% , and applied on premium income of most of the non-life policies.

One of the largest life insurers is Posta Életbiztosító (Post Office Life Insurer) which mainly sells single premium policies. Two third of its shares was possessed by the German Talanx, while one third by Hungarian Post. Its main sales channel is the network of post office clerks.  Having got an offer from the Hungarian state Talanx sold its stake in 2023. Same happened to Posta Biztosító, life insurer’s twin sister company selling only non-life policies. Now government is planning to sell these companies.

In 2020 Aegon decided to sell its subsidiary in Hungary. The purchaser is the Austrian Vienna Insurance Group, which already had a company based in Budapest. The government did not permit transaction unless buyer agreed the state to buy a share of 45 per cent in both companies. Later most of the state’s shares was sold, so government owns only 10 per cent.

To increase consumer protection government regulated household insurance business in more detail. Sales cannot be given more than 20 per cent of premium received and policies can be cancelled by the client twice a year: at anniversary and in March.