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Insurance company Nationale Nederlanden has been cleared to acquire Reaal’s indemnity insurances

18-11-2019

Dutch insurance company NN Group has been cleared to acquire parts of insurance company Vivat (Vivat Schadeverzekeringen N.V.), more specifically Vivat’s brands that specialize in indemnity insurances and income protection insurances. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has cleared this acquisition. One of the more well-known brands in the Vivat group is Reaal, which specializes in indemnity insurances. ACM has assessed the acquisition’s effects on the Dutch markets for indemnity insurances and income protection insurances. Sufficient competition will remain after the acquisition, as people are able to switch insurers easily, among other reasons. As a result, this acts as an incentive for insurers to ensure competitive prices, good quality, and sufficient innovation in insurances.

Market study into indemnity insurances and income protection insurances

Different insurance companies, big and small, are active in the market, and they compete with each other fiercely. However, many market participants believe that changes are on the horizon. Insurers are already taking a hard look at the profitability of each of their insurance products. That is why insurers are creating more standardized insurance products. In addition, insurance products are becoming more and more similar as a result of comparison sites. Furthermore, insurance companies have access to more and more detailed information about customers and risks. Armed with that data, they are able to determine what risks they face with their insurance products, and to assess whether these are still profitable, and whether or not these products should  still be offered. Market participants expect that the number of risks that are difficult to insure will rise. Examples thereof are insurances for taxi companies, meal delivery services, and specific agricultural companies.

NN and Vivat Schadeverzekeringen

The market for indemnity insurances and income protection insurances has three major insurers: Nationale Nederlanden (NN), Achmea (which includes Interpolis and Centraal Beheer), and ASR. Vivat’s indemnity insurances and income protection insurances (which includes Reaal) have a modest market share. ACM believes that the increase in NN’s market share as a result of the acquisition will not have any significant effects on the competitive landscape.

The acquisition of Vivat Schadeverzekeringen is one of the results of the larger acquisition of Vivat by Athora. In that process, Vivat was split up. The NN Group acquired the indemnity insurances and income protection insurances, alongside several other activities. The European Commission had previously cleared Athora’s acquisition of Vivat.

ACM’s concentration control: mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

With any merger, acquisition, or joint venture, an investigation is needed into whether sufficient competition will remain on that market. Competition ensures that products are of high quality, and that they are offered on the market at competitive prices. That is why ACM decides whether or not companies are allowed to merge, to acquire competitors, or to launch joint ventures. ACM assesses whether, after the concentration, markets continue to work well for people and businesses.

More in this case

21-08-2019 NN Group wishes to acquire VIVAT Schadeverzekeringen (concentration notification) (in Dutch)

19-11-2019 NN Group is cleared to acquire VIVAT Schadeverzekeringen (decision)