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VIENNA, AustriaLloyd's of London, recognizing the growth potential of the Central and Eastern European insurance market, is attempting to raise its profile in the region, according to its chairman.
While Lloyd's derives most of its business from outside the United Kingdom, the CEE countries represent just 1% of the market's business volume, according to Lloyd's Chairman Lord Peter Levene.
"We recently established ourselves in China; we spent a lot of time looking at areas like that. But much closer to home in Europe, we think there is significant chance to grow our business," said Lord Levene during a visit to Vienna Tuesday.
"Although it has done pretty well recently, in terms of the levels of growth in each country, the absolute numbers are not as big they should be. So we are spending time now looking at different countries the major European countries and then the Central and East European countries where our penetration has been low," he said.
Lord Levene met with representatives from the Austrian insurance market Tuesday, and was scheduled to travel to Poland on Wednesday.
He said it was too early to say whether Lloyd's would be opening representative offices in the region, although "we'd certainly look at it" if that was deemed important, he said.
Meanwhile, regarding the foiled terrorist attacks in the U.K. last week, Lord Levene said it could prompt companies to take further steps to guard against the risk.
"Terrorism insurance is important today," he said. "Many businesses live without it. Many think that they can protect themselves sufficiently well against terrorism; they don't need it, which is fine."
"But I think that anything like this that happens brings to the fore the problem and if it makes people think about it, and maybe cover themselves by insurance, maybe improve the protection they have against something like that happening, then those are all good things," he said.