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ERGO Security Index in the Baltic States shows: the greatest concerns relate to health care and national security

June 11, 2015

Among residents of the Baltic States, the ERGO Security Index has shown a slight improvement in the mood of people in Latvia and Lithuania in comparison to last year, while it has declined by two points in Estonia. The overall index in Latvia in 2015 is -12 (-13 last year), in Lithuania it is -4 (-5), while in Estonia it has dropped from +8 in 2014 to +6 this year. Although Estonians are most convinced about their everyday lives and Latvians feel most insecure, there are a few areas in which the mood of Latvians has improved. Examples include employment and belief in one’s material and financial situation.

The Security Index was prepared for the second year in a row by the ERGO insurance group in the Baltic States and the SKDS research centre to find out what Baltic residents think about the stability of their lives and the actual risks that they face every day.

This year also the evaluation of respondents in Latvia within all five aspects of ERGO Security Index on the extent to which they are upset about various undesirable or negative things that might happen in their lives was lower than in the other Baltic States.  

Only in terms of physical security and criminal issues did Latvians, like Lithuanians and Estonians, offer more positive than negative responses, which indicate that this is the area in which Baltic residents feel most secure. At the same time, though, the evaluation in Latvia and Lithuania dropped by one point in this area and by two points in Estonia.

The greatest concerns in all three countries relate to health, with the evaluation remaining at a level of -33 in Latvia and at -28 in Lithuania, while in Estonia it declined by one point, from -13 last year to -14 this year.

There is a major difference in the mood of Estonian residents with respect to the stability and security in their country. Far fewer Estonians than Latvians and Lithuanians worry about national stability and security, but the evaluation in Estonia dropped from -4 last year to -12 this year. In Latvia and Lithuania it declined by two and three points respectively.

As was the case last year, only Estonian residents gave a positive evaluation of their material and financial situation, while Latvians are less concerned about the ability to find and keep a job (-22 last year, -17 this year).

“For us as an insurance company, it is of key importance to learn the views of residents about their personal, financial and national security. This supports us by developing our insurance solutions and demands for them, as well allows us to adapt our offer of products and services. This year we see that people in Latvia and Lithuania are less worried about their ability to cover everyday spending needs and are also more convinced about stable jobs. Still, the greatest concerns in all Baltic countries relate to health care and national security. It is significant that the mood related to the countries’ stability and security has worsened since last year, and there is no doubt about the impact of the development of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine”, says Dr. Kestutis Bagdonavičius, ERGO Chairman of the Management Board in the Baltic States.

The Security Index is based on a special methodology, asking respondents to state how much they are upset about the possibility of undesirable or negative events in their lives. The study covers 43 different security-related aspects that represent five dimensions of security – property and financial security, health, physical safety, employment, and the country’s stability and national security. The study also asks people to rate the level of the stability of their lives, again looking at five factors – satisfaction with life, the belief that one can influence events, an evaluation of one’s material condition, the issue of how far in advance one plans one’s future, and the main sustainability indicators of households.

The study shows that satisfaction with life is comparable in all three Baltic States and has improved just a bit this year. The proportion of residents who feel that they are in good shape materially increased a bit – from 43% to 46% in Lithuania, 45% to 46% in Estonia, and 48% to 50% in Latvia.

“This is a unique methodology, and introduction of annual regularity offers the valuable opportunity to track and compare the way in which the mood of Baltic residents is influenced by national and global events,” says the director of research company SKDS, Arnis Kaktiņš. “The study also shows the national characteristics in each country, and these are particularly expressive in the results from Latvia and Estonia. Latvians are insecure and careful about their self-evaluation, while Estonians are more likely to be convinced about their achievements.”

The data in the study come from an Internet survey in the three Baltic States that was based on the respondent panel of SKDS. 1,000 residents aged 18-74 were surveyed in each country.

ERGO in the Baltic States

ERGO has been among leading insurance groups in the Baltic States and offers a complete range of coverage including non-life insurance along with life and health insurance. Premiums of ERGO Baltic totalled EUR 163 million in 2014. Last year customers in the Baltic countries were paid more than EUR 82 million for insurance claims. ERGO is also present in Belarus offering services in the non-life sector. Over 550,000 customers in the Baltic States trust the services, know-how and financial stability of ERGO Group.

ERGO companies operating in the Baltic countries are part of the ERGO Group – one of the major insurance groups in Germany and Europe. Worldwide, the Group is represented in over 30 countries and concentrates on Europe and Asia. In 2014, ERGO recorded a premium income of 18 billion euros.

ERGO is part of Munich Re, one of the leading reinsurers and risk carriers worldwide.