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41.1. Accounting policy

Annual Report 2019 > 41.1. Accounting policy
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41.1.1.  Non-life insurance

Provision for unearned premiums and provision for unexpired risk

Provision for unearned premiums is calculated at the end of each reporting period on a case-by-case basis, with the precision of one day.

Provision for unexpired risk is recognized as an addition to the provision for unearned premiums to cover future claims, benefits and expenses, including deferred acquisition expenses, in relation to insurance agreements that do not expire on the last day of the reporting period. The provision for unexpired risk is calculated for insurance groups at the end of each reporting period.

The total amount of the provision for unexpired risk is determined for those insurance groups where the current year loss ratio is greater than 100%, as a difference between the product of the provision for unearned premiums and the loss ratio of the current financial year and the provision for unearned premiums for the same insurance period.

Provision for outstanding claims and benefits

Provision for outstanding claims and benefits includes:

  • provision for outstanding claims and benefits for losses and accidents incurred and reported (RBNP) by the end of the reporting period;
  • provision for losses and accidents incurred but not reported (IBNR) by the end of the reporting period
  • provision for claims handling expenses.

The RBNP provision is calculated on a case-by-case basis by claims handling units or, if available information is not sufficient to assess the provision amount, at the average claim amount determined using the actuarial method. The provision recognized takes into account the insured’s deductible, the expected increase in prices of goods and repair services and may not be greater than the sum insured or indemnity. The provision is updated as soon as information influencing its amount is available, on a case-by-case assessment or estimation of losses and claims.

The IBNR provision is recognized for losses and claims that are not reported by the balance sheet date, as at which the provision is recognized. IBNR is calculated using the loss triangle analysis method: a generalized Chain Ladder method and for a small number or value of losses the Bornhuetter-Ferguson method, broken down by the years in which the losses occurred. The calculations are based on the annual triangles of claims paid and claims reported.

The provision for direct claims handling expenses for reported claims is calculated for each claim individually, and for claims incurred but not reported – using the generalized Chain Ladder method (based on the cost triangles analysis, broken down by the years in which the losses occurred).

The provision for indirect claims handling expenses is calculated using the actuarial method, as a product of the ratio of the percentage of indirect claims handling expenses in claims paid and direct claims handling expenses and the sum of provision for claims reported but not paid and the provision for losses and accidents incurred but not reported and the provision for direct claims handling expenses.

The 1st and the 2nd provisions and the provision for claims handling expenses are recognized at the nominal value, i.e. they are not discounted.

Provision for the capitalized value of annuities

Provision for the capitalized value of annuities is calculated on a case-by-case basis as the present value of an annuity (lifetime or temporary) paid in advance.

At the end of each reporting period, actuarial methods are used to recognize a provision for the capitalized value of annuities arising from losses incurred after 31 December 1990 and not recognized as annuities until the end of the reporting period (annuity IBNR). At the end of each reporting period, the amount of additional provision is also calculated to cover liabilities resulting from the increase of annuity benefits from the “legacy portfolio”. The increases apply to those annuity beneficiaries, for whom a corresponding provision was calculated at the end of 1997 and the benefit at the end of the reporting period is lower than a certain percentage of the present value of average wages between 1960 and 1990.

On 28 September 2019, the Act of 19 July 2019 on Special Rights of Injured Persons with an Exhausted Indemnity Determined on the basis of Applicable Regulations for Damage Suffered before 1 January 2006 came into force. The Act defines the special rights granted to injured persons in the event of damage arising in the territory of the Republic of Poland in situations where the indemnity has been exhausted. The injured person will be entitled to a claim for the payment of an annuity from the IIF, limited to the indemnity amount set as at the date of submission of the claim in a situation where the insurance undertaking was not required to pay an annuity on the basis of a court ruling setting a different amount of indemnity than that specified in the insurance contract. The claim for the payment of an annuity will apply to periods following the date of the Act’s entry into force.

After the establishment, between the insurance companies and the IIF, of the terms and conditions for the transfer of annuities covered by the Act to the IIF and the development of pertinent internal procedures for this process, it will be possible to determine what changes need to be made, if any, in the method of calculation of technical provisions.

Provision adequacy tests

Provision adequacy testing is not required in non-life insurance. However when consolidated financial statements are prepared, a procedure that is similar to the provision adequacy test in life insurance is conducted to verify whether claims provisions within individual products are sufficient. The test takes into account current trends in accident incidence, reporting rates and claim payments. If the estimates that consider current trends are higher than claims provisions then the provisions are increased up to the estimated amount. Otherwise, the provisions may be partially released.

The mechanism for recognizing the provision for unexpired risks in non-life insurance corresponds to the minimum requirements for the provisions adequacy test.

41.1.2.  Life insurance

Provision for unearned premiums

Provision for unearned premiums is created as the portion of gross written premium that corresponds to future reporting periods, pro rata to the period for which the premium is written.

Life insurance provision

Life insurance provision is calculated using prospective actuarial methods, for each insurance contract individually, using the net premium reserves method; they are equal to the difference between:

  • expected present value of guaranteed benefits that may arise out of the insurance cover provided;
  • present value of premiums expected to be paid until the end of the term of these contracts.

In unit-linked insurance, a life insurance provision is created to cover current claims arising out of the insurance cover over and above the amount of the unit-linked fund; it corresponds to the part of the payments collected for the insurance cover that is attributable to future reporting periods.
The calculation of a life insurance provision also includes a mark-up on costs, while the provisions themselves are not reduced by the value of deferred acquisition expenses.

Unit-linked life insurance provision

Unit-linked life insurance provisions are recognized in the amount of the investment made under the terms of the contract.

Provision for outstanding claims and benefits

Provision for outstanding claims and benefits is created separately for:

  • claims reported but not paid – using the individual method or, if the loss amount cannot be assessed (if the occurrence of losses is a mass phenomenon), using the average claim from the quarter immediately preceding the reporting quarter;
  • claims incurred but not reported – using the flat-rate method, as a percentage of claims paid for the last twelve months.

The provision for outstanding claims and benefits also includes the provision for claims handling expenses.

Provisions for bonuses and discounts for insureds

The provision is recognized in an amount taking into account the expected amounts by which future claims will be increased or future premiums will be decreased, in accordance with the current bonuses and discounts granting method.

Other technical provisions 

Other technical provisions in life insurance include:

  • revaluation provision for claims under individual life insurance and annuities taken over from Państwowy Zakład Ubezpieczeń;
  • provision for pending court proceedings and benefits arising out of court rulings (pursuant to Article 358 § 3 of the Civil Code Act of 23 April 1964 (consolidated text: Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1145 as amended) changing the amount or performance of a cash benefit; the amount of this provision has been determined based on the value of expected future additional benefits arising out of court cases and settlements. The value of these benefits has been determined by extrapolating the historical trend of benefits estimated based on the number of completed court proceedings and settlements and the value of the awarded amounts;
  • low interest rate provision – related to the expected decrease in return on assets covering life insurance provisions for traditional individual life insurance and provisioning of children and disability pensions. The amount of this provision has been determined based on the value of expected future additional benefits arising out of court cases and settlements.
    • the amount of the mathematical provisions calculated by using appropriate mathematical formulas and by applying modified technical rates, considering their expected reduction in the future, and
    • the amount of the mathematical provisions calculated in line with the applicable provisioning regulations, at the original technical rate that was used to price the products.

Provision adequacy tests

At the end of each year, for each product in the life insurance portfolio, the amount of technical provisions recognized in the consolidated financial statements is compared with the present value of expected future cash flows, i.e. the economic value of liabilities. These cash flows projections include: premium income, expenditures on benefits, expenses, fees and commissions and are based on several assumptions regarding: mortality, loss ratio, lapse rates, servicing expenses, yields curves and other product-specific assumptions (e.g. indexation).

The assumptions used to project future cash flows, regarding expected future mortality, loss ratio, lapse rates and other product-specific assumptions, are reviewed and updated on an annual basis based on current experience and observed trends. Taken together with the assessment of their further development, they constitute the best estimate assumption for further developments in mortality, loss, lapses, etc.

Future indexations of sum insured and premium amounts resulting from the profit participating rights, defined as the excess of rates of return on investments over the technical rate, are based on a projection of future rates of return on the current portfolio of assets to cover provisions for these products, together with their expected future reinvestments at the present term structure of interest rates, i.e. in line with current market expectations.

Future costs are projected based on the expected number of contracts remaining in the portfolio in successive periods and the average unit service cost per contract. The assumptions for unit costs are adopted on the basis of expected future portfolio maintenance and servicing expenses, asset management and claims handling expenses. It is assumed that unit service costs will rise in successive years of the projection period by the cost increase ratio. The amount of future commissions is determined based on the agreed commission rates for individual contracts in their successive years.

The present value of future cash flows is calculated using the discount factors based on the unadjusted yield of Polish government bonds according to their current market quotations.
The test compares the present value of projected cash flows with the amount of provisions shown at the end of each year. If provisions are found to be insufficient in relation to the value of discounted cash flows, changes are introduced to the existing provisioning rules and consequently their value is adjusted.

The purpose of the provision adequacy test is to assess whether the technical provision amounts captured in the consolidated financial statements are sufficient, rather than to assess adequacy of the individual assumptions. Accordingly, the provision adequacy test does not directly identify the degree of adequacy or inadequacy of the individual assumptions adopted in technical provision estimation process.

41.1.3.  Reinsurers’ share

Reinsurers’ share in the provision for unearned premiums, in the provision for unexpired risk and in the provision for outstanding claims and benefits is determined at the amount stated in the terms and conditions of the relevant reinsurance treaties.

Reinsurers’ share in claims and benefits is determined for those insurance groups, for which there is reinsurance coverage, to the extent to which reinsurers participate in the claims and benefits according to the terms and conditions of the pertinent reinsurance treaties in effect in a given period.