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5.7 Classification of insurance contracts in accordance with IFRS 4

Annual Report 2019 > 5.7 Classification of insurance contracts in accordance with IFRS 4
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The PZU Group Companies conducting insurance activity apply the guidelines set forth in IFRS 4 concerning the classification of their products as insurance contracts subject to IFRS 4 or as investment contracts. A contract meets the definition of an insurance contract only if an insured event could cause an insurer to pay significant additional benefits in any scenario, excluding scenarios that lack commercial substance (i.e. have no discernible effect on the economics of the transaction) and thus if a contract transfers considerable insurance risk.

The assessment whether a contract transfers considerable insurance risk requires analysis of the cash flows related to a product in various scenarios and estimating the probability of such scenarios. Such an assessment includes an element of subjective judgment, which has significant influence on the accounting policies applied. According to the assumptions made by the PZU Group, we are dealing with significant insurance risk when the occurrence of an insured event results in disbursement of a benefit that is at least 10% higher than the benefit that would be paid had the event not occurred. Based on this criterion, concluded contracts are recognized either according to IFRS 4 or according to IAS 9.

5.7.1. Classification of non-life insurance contracts

Analysis has shown that all non-life insurance contracts transfer significant insurance risk and accordingly they are governed by the requirements of IFRS 4.

Additionally, insurance contract accounting is still applied to financial guarantees that meet the definition of a financial instrument.

5.7.2. Classification of life insurance contracts

Analysis has shown that PZU Group’s offer contains products that do not transfer significant insurance risk (including certain products with guaranteed rate of return and some unit-linked products) and thus do not meet the definition of an insurance contract pursuant to IFRS 4. Therefore, these products have been classified in the consolidated financial statements as investment contracts measured in accordance with IFRS 9 at amortized cost or fair value (depending on the structure of each product).

Investment contracts include, among others: Pewny Zysk individual life and endowment insurance (recognized at amortized cost), unit-linked PZU IKZE insurance and Program Inwestycyjny Prestige [Prestige Investment Program] (recognized at fair value).

Both insurance contracts and investment contracts may include discretionary participation features (DPF). They entitle the insured to receive an additional benefit or a bonus in addition to the guaranteed claim. Such a benefit is constitutes a significant portion of the total contractual claim; its amount or term are contractual and they depend on the insurer’s discretion, whereas their occurrence depends on:

  • history of the specified set or type of contracts;
  • whether or not profit is realized on specified assets;
  • whether the insurer, a fund or another entity related to the agreement makes profit or incurs loss.

All contracts with discretionary participation features, unilaterally specified by the insurance company, are measured in accordance with IFRS 4.

Additionally, no life insurance contracts have been identified which would provide for a simultaneous transfer of insurance risk and financial risk and require unbundling of insurance and investment components. In the case of contracts where unbundling of embedded options is permitted but not required under IFRS 4 (such as the right to surrender a contract, convert it into a funded contract, guaranteed annuity for a pre-defined premium, indexation of the sum insured and premiums), the investment component is not unbundled.