5.17 Insurance contracts

5.17.1. Written premiums and unearned premiums reserve

5.17.1.1. Non-life insurance

Written premiums from insurance contracts and reinsurance treaties are recognized at the date of the insurance contract conclusion.

Written premiums are recognized in proportion to the period of insurance coverage. Part of the written premium for the period of insurance coverage after the balance sheet date is recognized under unearned premiums reserve. The unearned premiums reserve is determined individually as at the end of each financial year, accurate to one day.

The unexpired risks reserve complements the unearned premiums reserve and covers future claims, benefits and costs relating to insurance contracts which do not expire on the last day of the financial year. The unexpired risks reserve is determined for individual insurance groups as at the end of each financial year.

The overall unexpired risks reserve is determined for insurance groups with the claims ratio for the current year exceeding 100%, as the difference between the product of the unearned premiums reserve and the claims ratio for the current financial year and the unearned premiums reserve – for the same coverage period. The reinsurer’s share in written premiums, unearned premiums reserve and unexpired risks reserve is determined in accordance with the terms and conditions of relevant reinsurance treaties.

5.17.1.2. Life insurance

Written premiums in life insurance contracts include amounts due under insurance contracts concluded during the financial year, irrespective of the fact whether the amounts have been paid or not as well as whether the amounts refer to the whole reporting period or its part. The premiums are adjusted by the change in the unearned premiums reserve during the financial year and reduced by the amount of premium due to the reinsurers. Unearned premiums reserve is created as a portion of written premiums that refers to future financial years.

5.17.2. Claims and benefits paid and technical provisions

5.17.2.1. Non-life insurance

Costs of the financial year include all costs of claims and benefits paid under the concluded insurance contracts, including direct and indirect claims handling costs and costs of subrogations and a change in outstanding claims provisions. The costs of claims and benefits are reduced by all received salvages and subrogations as well as by the change in expected salvages and subrogations.

The reinsurers’ share in claims and benefits is determined for the groups of insurance with reinsurance, in the amount of reinsurers’ share in claims and benefits, in line with relevant reinsurance treaties.

The outstanding claims provision

The outstanding claims provisions include:

  • provision for outstanding claims and benefits due to losses and accidents which took place and were reported by the end of the financial year;
  • provision for losses and accidents which were incurred by the end of the financial year and were not reported;
  • provision for claims handling costs;

The provision for claims reported not paid (RBNP or Provision I) is determined based on an individual approach by claim handling units or, if obtained information disallows determining the provision amount, as the amount of average claim determined with an actuarial method. The provision includes the deductible, expected increase in the prices of goods and repair services and may not exceed the sum insured and the guaranteed sum. The provision is revalued immediately after receiving information which impact its amount by individual assessment or estimated losses and claims.

The provision for claims incurred but not reported (hereinafter referred to as “IBNR” or “Provision II”) is created for claims and benefits which have not been reported by the end of the financial year, when the provision is recognized. IBNR is calculated using the loss triangles: the generalized Chain Ladder method, and if the number of claims or their value is insignificant – using the Bornhuetter-Ferguson method, broken down by the years during which losses were incurred. Basis for calculation are annual triangles for claims paid and claims reported.

The provision for direct claim handling costs for claims reported is calculated on a case-by-case basis for each claim by operating units, whereas for claims incurred but not reported is calculated using generalized Chain Ladder, based on loss triangles for the year of the claim.

The provision for indirect claims handling expenses is recognized using the actuarial method as the product of the share of indirect claims handling expenses in claims paid to direct claims handling expenses ratio, and the provision for claims reported but not paid, the provision for claims incurred but not reported and the provision for direct claims handling expenses.

Provisions I and II and the provision for claims handling costs are recognized at the nominal value, i.e. they are not discounted.

The reinsurers’ share in provisions for unpaid claims and benefits is determined as the amount compliant with the terms and conditions of relevant reinsurance treaties.

Provision for capitalized annuity benefits

The provision for capitalized value of annuities is calculated individually, as the present value of annuity (for life or periodic), paid in advance.

As at the end of each financial year, using actuarial methods a provision for capitalized value of annuities is created for claims incurred after 31 December 1990 by the balance sheet date and not disclosed as annuity (annuity IBNR).

As at the end of each financial year, the value of additional provision for liabilities resulting from increased annuity benefits from the so-called old portfolio is determined. Reassessment is carried out only for annuitants with the same provision calculated as at the end of 1997 whose benefit at the end of the financial year does is lower than the predetermined percentage of the current value of average salary between 1960 and 1990.

5.17.2.2. Life insurance

Costs of the financial year include all costs of claims and benefits paid under the concluded insurance contracts, including direct and indirect claims handling costs and a change in outstanding claims provisions.

Costs of paid claims and benefits

Benefits paid include all payments and charges made in the financial year due to benefits incurred during the financial year and earlier (also annuity claims and surrenders), together with all direct and indirect, internal and external benefits handling costs. Handling costs include also the costs of litigation.

The value of benefits is recognized at the actually paid amount, following deduction of refunds (except for refunds due to outward reinsurance), increased by the change in outstanding claims provision and reduced by the reinsurers’ share in claims paid and provisions.

Life insurance provision

Life insurance provision is determined based on actuarial methods in the following way:

  • group employee insurance and individually continued insurance – the provision is based on the prospective actuarial method which consists in determining a provision for each insurance contract separately, based on statistical data; it corresponds to the present value of the claims expected in relation to insurance protection granted, less the present value of future premiums;
  • unit-linked technical provision - the provision is created to cover present benefits related to the insurance coverage over the cash accumulated in the fund, according to individual types of insurance, in line with their general terms and conditions; the amount corresponds to the portion of payments imposed due to the insurance coverage attributable to future financial years;
  • other insurance – based on the prospective actuarial method, individually for each insurance contract, corresponding to the difference between the present value of guaranteed benefits and the present value of premiums due under the insurance contracts.

Unit-linked technical provision

Unit-linked technical provision is measured at the amount equal to the fair value of shares in the insurance fund as at the end of the financial year. 

Outstanding claims provisions

Outstanding claims provisions are created independently for:

  • claims reported but not paid – using the case-by-case method or when the amount of claim cannot be assessed, if the claims and benefits are large-scale, using the average claim from the quarter immediately preceding the financial year;
  • claims incurred but not reported – using the lump-sum method, as the percentage of claims paid for the period of the last twelve months.

Outstanding claims provisions include a claims handling provision.

Provisions for bonuses and rebates for the insured

The provision corresponds to the expected profit sharing for the insurer recognized as at the end of the financial year, which will be granted following the end of the settlement period.

Other technical provisions

Other technical provisions in life insurance include:

  • provision for revaluation of claims under individual life insurance and annuity assumed from Państwowy Zakład Ubezpieczeń (“old portfolio”);
  • provision for pending court proceedings and claims related to court decisions (based on Article 358.3 of the Civil Code of 23 April 1964 (Journal of Laws No. 16 of 1964, item 93, as amended) concerning the change in the amount and the manner of paying a cash performance;

In 1992, PZU transferred individual insurance policies (marriage and life) and annuity contracts (“old portfolio”) to PZU Życie.

In the hyperinflationary period of the 1980s, investment activities of Państwowy Zakład Ubezpieczeń were limited, which resulted in the investment income being below the inflation level. In effect, provisions created in relation to the old portfolio were not sufficient to cover claims adjusted for inflation. PZU Życie partly revalued the old portfolio policies. Some of the insured whose claims were revalued started to take legal action against PZU Życie with the objective of obtaining higher claims. PZU Życie creates a provision for revaluation of claims under individual insurance policies and annuity contracts taken over from PZU (i.e. the “old portfolio”), which may result from future disputes (court cases and settlements).

The value of the above provision has been determined based on the expected value of additional future claims resulting from court cases and settlements. The value of such claims has been determined by extrapolating the historical trends related to claims, estimated on the basis of the number of concluded court cases and settlements as well as the awarded amounts.

  • provision for low interest rates – this provision is related to the projected decline in profitability of insurance fund investments for individual life insurance, individual policies with an increasing sum insured and premium, group Firma insurances and annuity insurances. The provision is created according to the actuarial method, on the case-by-case basis, in the amount corresponding to the difference between:
    • amount of mathematical provisions calculated with relevant formulas and application of modified technical rates, including their projected future decrease and
    • the amount of mathematical provisions calculated in line with the valid regulations for creating provisions with the original technical rate applied for other product pricing.

5.17.3. Liability Adequacy Tests

As at the end of each year, forecasts are made for the life insurance contracts in individual classes of products. The forecasts are based on previous trends and extrapolation of identified trends for mortality, accident rate, lapses and forecasted costs of claims management and settlement. The test involves a comparison of the present value of projected discounted cash flows with the amount of provision recognized at the end of each year. In the case when the provisions are found to be insufficient as compared to the value of discounted cash flows, the assumptions concerning provision creation and automatic adjustment of the amount of technical provisions are modified.

The mechanism of creation of unexpired risks reserve in non-life insurance described in Note 5.17.1.1 is in line with the minimum requirements of Liability Adequacy Test described in point 16 of IRFS 4.