Which Insurance Company is Better?

10 minutes read

This sacramental question is asked by both novice insurers and experienced policyholders who have had negative experiences with one or several insurance companies in the past. Often this negative experience is associated with an unreasonable expectation of payment after the occurrence of an event that is not an insured event in accordance with the policy purchased.

In other cases, the client is right, but cannot receive payment quickly or in full. Consider the general principles of how to approach the choice of the insurer and how to determine: which insurance company is better

Of course, there are a number of subjective grounds on which people make decisions: the proximity of the branch of an insurance company, the low cost of a policy, the power of persuasion and the competence of an insurance agent – all this may be important when choosing an insurer in each case, but none of these factors should not be decisive.

Of course, there are a number of subjective grounds on which people make decisions: the proximity of the branch of an insurance company, the low cost of a policy, the power of persuasion and the competence of an insurance agent – all this may be important when choosing an insurer in each case, but none of these factors should not be decisive.

First of all, the reliability of the insurance company is important, as well as its readiness to promptly fulfill its obligations.

Reliability means that even in the most unfavorable crisis period, the insurer will be able to make all payments and will not go bankrupt. Prompt fulfillment of obligations is not a burden for the policyholder for which he will receive payment in accordance with the conditions of the policy.

In addition, it makes sense to spend some time and conduct your own analysis, relying on open information posted on the official websites of insurance companies, as well as on specialized independent resources – forums, rating portals and information and analytical agencies, blogs and social networking groups.

Obviously, it would not be superfluous to ask friends, colleagues and relatives about their experience of working with various insurance companies. The complexity of choosing a suitable insurer is exacerbated by the number of companies present in the insurance market, of which there are more than a hundred today. How to rank such a number of insurers?

Independently it is very difficult to do this, but there are independent information, economic and rating agencies, associations (associations, unions) of insurers, etc., publishing annual (sometimes quarterly)

Such information can be safely assigned to the highest level of trust.

Ratings of insurance companies

insurance companies largest rating agency “Expert RA” helps to make an informed decision when choosing an insurance company, giving the opportunity to analyze the activities of insurers, based on many indicators. The rating calculation method also includes a large number of factors, which are assigned a certain weight in the analysis – i.e. relative importance of the indicator compared with other factors. Here they are:

External factors of sustainability and corporate governance, such as:

  • Size factor (size and dynamics of assets and equity, size of authorized capital, total insurance premium);
  • The company’s position in certain market segments (its presence in associations and associations, the company’s reputation and its top managers, brand, relations with supervisory authorities, specialization, captivity – dependence on the founders in determining strategy);
  • Corporate governance (financial potential of owners and changes in its composition, ownership structure and organizational structure, risk management and strategy, management quality, state of the information infrastructure, auditor, reporting under IFRS, transparency of economic processes);
  • The geography of presence (the effectiveness of the company in the regions and the development of the branch network).

Insurance business. This unit includes:

  • Insurance portfolio (diversification and stability of the insurance portfolio, profitability by type of insurance, the relative magnitude of the risks and parameters of the portfolio of incoming reinsurance);
  • Customer base (size and structure of the customer base, availability of permanent and dependence on major customers, percentage of terminated contracts, policy distribution channels, partners in incoming reinsurance, for captive companies – the credit rating of the main client);
  • Reinsurance policy (reliability, diversification and effectiveness of reinsurance protection, reinsurance of major risks, the ratio of the maximum insurance pay-net relative to equity).

Financial performance is assessed by the following parameters:

  • Liquidity and solvency (current liquidity ratios and refined net insurance liquidity, history of large payments, receivables and its quality, availability of loans and credits, off-balance sheet liabilities, solvency margin, the sufficiency of own funds);
  • Profitability and unprofitability (return on assets under RAS and under IFRS, equity, net loss ratio, loss ratio under RAS and IFRS, percentage of the cost of doing business);
  • Investment policy (investment portfolio: liquidity, diversification by investment objects, stability and availability of optimization signs; investment reliability, percentage of subsidiaries and affiliates, return on invested capital, execution of orders No. 100n and No. 149n).

The brief methodology of the agency “EXPERT RA” here is given to illustrate how difficult it is to objectively evaluate the characteristics of insurance companies even with the use of mathematical and sociological methods of analysis.

Consequently, ratings based on “popular” voting, although they have the right to exist, are very subjective, often biased, have a non-representative sample — that is, the number and quality of respondents do not correspond to the conditions sociology makes to quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis.

Reviews related to any insurance company should be approached with a great deal of skepticism, since every insurer has clients and supporters among clients, and it is not possible to measure the number of both.

VTB Insurance

Insurance Group VTB Insurance, founded in 2000, is currently one of the largest insurance organizations and is among the systemically important. The international rating agency Standard & Poor’s assigned the insurance group a long-term credit rating and a BB + financial stability rating (or ruAA + on the national scale), which is the highest indicator among insurance companies with domestic capital.

The company provides clients with a full range of insurance products and services, including insurance of personal property, life and health, travel insurance, accumulative and investment life insurance, property insurance of legal entities, voluntary medical insurance (DMS), etc. The disadvantages of the insurance group can be attributed to a long time to consider payment cases.

The general tone of feedback on VTB Insurance is as follows: conflict-free, reliable and dignified insurance company, but its services are not cheap. Nevertheless, a very significant part of the insurers prefers it, especially among those who have had negative experiences with other, more “cheaper” insurers.


The largest and oldest insurance group in the insurance Federation, the leader in the number of branches in the regions. According to “EXPERT RA”, the company ranks first in insurance premiums, reserves and assets. In 2014, the National Rating Agency confirmed the reliability ratings of Rosgosstrakh at AAA and A ++. The company provides insurance for individuals and legal entities (CHI, CASCO, insurance for traveling abroad, etc.).

However, in a number of regions, the company repeatedly violated anti-monopoly laws, in particular forcing customers to purchase additional insurance services, for some time Rosgosstrakh has even revoked a license to carry out motor third party liability insurance.

Reviews: a very long waiting for payments, sometimes – frank refusals to pay without a court decision, especially for car insurance (but it’s easy to sue and win), significantly underestimated damage after evaluation, low level of responsibility to customers, “red tape”. As a plus, customers note that it is easy and fast to find a company office, besides there is a huge army of insurance agents.

SPAO RESO-Garantia

The company was founded in 1991. Client pool – 10 million legal entities and individuals. The company is licensed to provide more than 100 types of insurance services. The priority activities are auto insurance, voluntary medical insurance, property insurance for individuals and legal entities, mortgage insurance. Standard & Poor’s credit rating service assigned RESO-Garantia a BB rating (ruAA).

Reviews about the insurance company RESO-Garantia, as in most cases concerning other insurers, are negative. It is easy to explain: a person would rather write, being dominated by negative emotions than positive ones. At the same time, apparently, there are branches and sales offices in which “they honor the letter of the Law” and competent specialists work, and there are those where there is a very unprofessional attitude towards customers.

SOGAZ Insurance Group

The company is also classified as systemically important. 14 million people and 40 thousand legal entities are insured with SOGAZ. In addition to insurance and reinsurance in the area of ​​the company’s interests – sponsorship (in particular, SOGAZ is a partner and insurer of the Continental Hockey League Championship). However, the company, as in the case of Rosgosstrakh, received many complaints about the imposition of additional services by managers and the refusal to sell the CTP policy without life insurance.

In the SOGAZ reviews, about 45% are positive, and 55% are negative. Citizens put the optimal price-quality ratio (for CASCO policies) in the pros, the human factor is in the minuses, as in most major insurance companies: some branches serve at a high professional level, service in others is poor.

SG Alfa Insurance

Established in 1992, AlfaStrakhovanie is one of the largest insurers with a universal package of services for individuals and corporate clients (the company provides over a hundred different services, including property and life insurance). It has a very wide network of regional representative offices (about 400), thanks to which more than 22 million individuals and 435 thousand companies have already taken advantage of Alfa Strakhovaniya offers. In 2015, the international agency Fitch Ratings confirmed the company’s financial strength rating at BB (ruAA).

The general tone of the reviews: three out of five policyholders are totally dissatisfied with the service or damages. In general, the claims relate to a predominantly underestimated level of indemnification for various types of insurance, as well as “disguised” reimbursement conditions prescribed in policies. Of course, there are also thank-you reviews, which even state that the payment amount exceeded the amount spent on car repairs

Insurance group “Consent”

It was formed in 1993 and is currently among the top 10 largest insurance companies in the world. The branch network of the organization consists of 126 offices in the territory of Moscow and the region, 75 branches, 135 remote workplaces and 132 separate regional offices, which allows the company to carry out insurance activities practically throughout the territory of the Insurance Federation. In financial circles, the company has been repeatedly criticized for changing its top managers too often and, as a result, reducing its reputation.

In the reviews of the activities there are complaints about unqualified work of the call-center, slow payments, excessively understated (5-6 times) amount of compensation for damage, difficulty of feedback; from the positive aspects – low prices for hull insurance, unlimited period of handling documents after an accident (after a preliminary call).


The regional network includes 600 branches and insurance points, 10 million people and 125 thousand enterprises are insured with this company, the authorized capital is 3.2 billion rubles. VSK also pays great attention to the reinsurance protection of its insurance portfolio.

The general tone of VSK reviews: the level of public confidence in VSK is rather low: no more than a third of the population is satisfied with its service.

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