Insurance broker aims high

  • 1999-09-30
  • By Kairi Kurm
TALLINN - It started Sept. 1 as a merger of two insurance brokerages,
and already Aon is setting its sights high: The company's main goal
is to conquer 40 percent of the Estonian insurance market by 2003.

Aon, which grew out of a merger between Quest Insurance Brokers and
Kindlustuskonsultant, currently holds about 12 percent of the
insurance market.

According to Kari Aitolehti, chairman of the board of Aon Eesti, the
insurance brokerage market in Estonia is very small. But it is this
weakness that Aitolehti says he intends to take advantage of as he
attempts to build an internationally-known company.

The biggest difference between the services of an insurance company
and an insurance brokerage is that the former offers a range of
services it has, but an insurance broker can find a more diversified
service package from many different companies according to the
specific needs of a client. The insurance broker is an independent
intermediary who carries out his functions, basing on agreements
concluded with policyholders and insurers.

"A broker values a company's risk and if none of the local insurance
companies is able to offer the necessary service, then that broker
finds it abroad," said Kristjan Varton, a member of the board at Aon
Eesti. The Aon corporation operates in more than 115 countries
worldwide with some 40,000 employees in more than 600 offices.

In Estonia, Aon will be offering property-, life- and
investment-insurance services.

Varton said there are about 25 insurance brokerage companies in
Estonia, some of which are quite obscure, but the exact number will
not be known as long as the Estonian Insurance Supervisory Authority
does not take control over the insurance-brokerage business in

Kaido Tropp, deputy director at the supervisory authority, said that
starting in January 2000, when amendments are introduces to the
insurance law, the supervisory board will start inspecting insurance
brokerage companies and information about them will become more

"We are looking forward to the regulation of the market," said Varton.