Thirty years in Ukraine

Insurance Company INGO has 30 years of insurance expertise in Ukraine, running a network of about 25 branches across the country. As one of the largest insurance organisations in Ukraine, in terms of premiums written and owned capital, INGO possesses 29 licenses for different types of compulsory and voluntary insurance for corporate and retail clients.

With over 500 experts, we provide services in all regions of Ukraine. Today, INGO is focused on the implementation of the RMP (Risk Management Program). The objective is to implement an effective tool to all levels of company management, to support decision-making within core activities of the company and focus on the bottom line”, highlights Andrii Semchenko, Chief Underwriting Officer, INGO. 


Once a part of the Russian Ingosstrakh group, INGO was divested at the start of the Crimean War. Today, the company is wholly owned by the Ukrainian business group DCH, which is one of the leaders of the Ukrainian market. The business group has a strong connection with Ukraine and its values for which it is fighting against the Russian aggressor. INGO continues its underwriting, antirecessionary philosophy concentrating on results, customer focus, employees, technical skills, and defensive underwriting strategy (risk assessment).

Andrii Semchenko
Andrii Semchenko

INGO started working in independent Ukraine as one of the first insurance companies, creating this market in the young state. "Several decades ago, about 300 insurers operated in the unregulated market. It was difficult to work in such conditions, but INGO had ambitions not only to remain in the Ukrainian market, but also to develop it following the best global traditions," Andrii Semchenko says. "The company has always contributed to the creation and adaptation of market legislation and supported the implementation of best practices."

In the end, Ukraine took new measures, in particular, added a number of requirements to insurers regarding the solvency and riskiness of operations, which became an important factor for deepening international relations and cooperation with global business. As the market developed, new and reliable partners such as If, FM Global and others entered Ukraine. This created an active network, and built lasting relationships that included sharing knowledge to provide the best service.


Developing the insurance market

INGO started working in independent Ukraine as one of the first insurance companies, creating this market in the young state. "Several decades ago, about 300 insurers operated in the unregulated market. It was difficult to work in such conditions, but INGO had ambitions not only to remain in the Ukrainian market, but also to develop it following the best global traditions," Andrii Semchenko says. "The company has always contributed to the creation and adaptation of market legislation and supported the implementation of best practices."

In the end, Ukraine took new measures, in particular, added a number of requirements to insurers regarding the solvency and riskiness of operations, which became an important factor for deepening international relations and cooperation with global business. As the market developed, new and reliable partners such as If, FM Global and others entered Ukraine. This created an active network, and built lasting relationships that included sharing knowledge to provide the best service.

From July 1, 2020, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) took over the functions of the regulator of the non-banking financial services market, which included the insurance market. This made it possible to reboot the insurance sector. Today, together with leading insurers, the NBU continues to bring the market closer to European Union standards to increase its stability, in particular the introduction of risk-oriented supervision, strengthening of consumer rights protection, introduction of clear requirements for the organisation of the corporate governance system and internal control. At the same time, the opportunities of non-banking financial companies are expanding thanks to the improvement of licensing rules.

Andrii notes that, “Over the years, INGO has worked to be the eyes of our partners, we work to find or create the best solutions that support our international partners’ clients. In most cases, we offer as broad a cover as requested, however this can be tricky to implement in Ukraine, as insurance products and services are limited in the local market. This means we need to be creative, work with brokers, and ask questions – why is something important? What is really needed?”

Ukraine's rebuilding

Lessons learned

During COVID-19, like elsewhere in the world, Ukrainians had to switch to work from home. In those early months, there was great uncertainty about the virus, and it was difficult to assess what would happen.

Andrii Semchenko notes, “Due to the COVID-19, we were better prepared. For those two years, we increased our share in the market and received substantial business from companies that had foreign stakeholders. While other insurance companies shut down for a period, we continued to work remotely and focus on delivering services to our clients. As we had proven that we can deliver, even when working from home we were able to continue our daily work after Russia’s initial attack in 2022.”

Besides companies, which are already present in Ukraine, INGO is able to support clients who plan to enter Ukraine even under the current circumstances. “Besides two other local insurers, INGO can cover War Risks, although with a limited capacity. Using data, we provide our partners and other stakeholders with confidence that doing business in Ukraine is possible. For us, this is not about the money, but a matter of meeting our social responsibility.” 

Andrii highlights that there is an important ‘social function’ or duty as an insurer. "We work not only in the B2B segment, but also continue to provide insurance services for private individuals: we offer car, health and home insurance. INGO is a part of the critical infrastructure of Ukraine, we support our citizens, businesses operating in Ukraine, and we support our state."

"Ukraine's rebuilding will require the active involvement of insurance: already today various plans for renovation and investments are being formed. We participate in a wide range of projects, from energy to construction," Andrii notes.

The rebuilding of Ukraine is attracting European companies, including insurers and reinsurers, as everyone will take part in this. At INGO, we are doing our best to be ready for this, as we recognise already that this wave is inevitable. We are well-positioned now to help and support partners, including Nordic companies looking to participate in the massive undertaking that lies ahead. 

Not just insurance

ukraine

INGO also owns and operates multiple medical centres in Ukraine.

Andrii explains, “this was a vision from our CEO, Igor Gordienko, to have our own assets in the form of our own clinic. There are currently two INGO clinics in Kyiv. Before the war, we had plans to open additional medical centres in other cities. Kharkiv was to be the first priority. For objective reasons, we suspended the project, although we did not abandon it. INGO will definitely continue to develop in this direction as soon as possible."

And now the director of INGO clinic, besides his main work, offers voluntary support to Ukrainian troops in the form of medical aid. “We provide medicine and food to help people living and fighting in Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk region, and have personally witnessed some of the horrors of war during these trips. Being forced to flee and take cover, we saw the battle with our own eyes, people dying in front of us, medical specialists trying to help the wounded, and so on. Away from the frontlines, most people are living a regular life. People work, relax, visit theatres, movies, and shopping centres. The difference is massive when you come back to Kyiv. It is a very strange contrast, a surrealistic picture.”


Resilience and determination

‘’A normal day is to sleep and wake up without rockets. We try to have a regular life. The most difficult is when the air raid takes place at night. Today, I am careful not to give any forecast or prediction on the war. Even though we were prepared for the last big attack, the war did not end a year ago as many had hoped. Things have changed and the war is no longer about tanks – it is a war of drones. I expect that, when we receive ammunition and rockets that support long distance attacks, it will really make a difference in our favour”, he explains.

Andrii concludes, “the solution to this conflict will come on the battlefield, not in a negotiation room. You cannot find a solution when the enemy only understands power. Again, support from USA will be critical, we need more military equipment, more Patriot missiles and ammunition for HIMARS. If we do not get this support, we will need more from the European Union”

For those who are thinking ‘this is not my war’ it is important to realise that Russia will not stop in Ukraine.

Andrii Semchenko

Written by

Kristian Orispää