Axco's Insurance Market Report (Life) has recently been republished. According to Axco Global Statistics, Macedonia ranked 125 globally for all classes of business last year. For life business specifically, the country ranked three places lower, coming in at 128 between Malawi and Mozambique. The Macedonian market is characterised by low insurance penetration, significant foreign ownership and the lack of a domestic reinsurance market, all set against a background of political fragility.

Macedonia embarked on independence with the smallest and weakest economy of any of the former constituent republics of Yugoslavia. Its population was estimated to be only 2.07 million in 2017, almost identical to that of Slovenia, also a former constituent republic of Yugoslavia; however, the Slovenian life market was ranked considerably higher at 56 in the world in 2017.

In Macedonia, however, there has been a period of growth in the market. The country’s total life premiums grew by 11.9% in 2017, compared with 1.3% in non-life lines of business, and have grown by about 142% since 2012, albeit from a small base. Private medical insurance (PMI) has been the area of highest growth in the Macedonian market since 2014. Following the abnormally high growth of over 600% in 2016, PMI income grew by 28.5% in 2017 to MKD 58.10mn (USD 1.06mn) from MKD 45.22mn (USD 811,333).

Uncertainty related to the ongoing political crisis continued to weigh on economic growth in 2017. Improving euro area indicators, however, have brightened the economic outlook. GDP is expected to expand by 3.6% in 2019, while inflation is projected to rise to 2.42% over the same period.

To find out more, contact axco@axcoinfo.com or refer to Axco's Insurance Market Report (Life) for Macedonia.