We Understand the Needs of Our Clients, We Cover Their Risks Twenty-two years ago, Roman Horváth, Jitka Hradilová, and Peter Diľ decided to take a very significant step: they had worked in insurance and they all had clear ideas about customer service in industrial insurance. Their enthusiasm and resolution helped to establish SATUM CZECH, which has become one of the biggest insurance companies in the Czech Republic. We asked the owners of the company about their beginnings, current trends, and the importance of positive thinking and foresight. Your company, SATUM CZECH, ranks among the most significant insurance companies in our country. What inspired you to start the business together? Roman: After university I briefly worked in marketing jobs and later with an insurance broker company which does not exist any more. Then me, Jitka, and Petr founded SATUM. We had already had some experience in industrial insurance, so our programme was clear. In the very beginning we also knew there was a gap in a market that had a limited offer of insurance of traffic and transport risks, and related advisory services. Jitka: The late 1990s was an optimal time to start this kind of enterprise. There were many new products and a great demand for professional service in insurance broking. The time was very hectic, especially in regards to keeping up with all the legislative and administrative requirements, all the possible contractual relations, contracting insurance companies, trading and settlements of insurance, etc. Peter: The very beginning of our business was marked with the great floods of 1997. We did lots of work for various people who became our clients, and most of them have remained our customers. We have always aimed at having superior quality and customized terms in our insurance contracts and we have created atypical ways to administer the insurance. You operate in many sectors, yet I want to ask what you think of the future and development of Czech industry, and what risks are you prepared to protect your clients from? Roman: I believe Czech industry is doing well. We cooperate with a great number of companies who are generally economically very stable. There is no doubt, however, that mostly because of our close links to other economies, some decrease will come. It will hopefully be only short term and definitely not critical.
Besides the standard risks, we are ready to cover risks related to acquisitions and fusions of other companies in regards to tax, legal and other risks, so-called warranty and indemnity insurance. Data safety and protection is a priority in the digitized world: what is your opinion on that? Roman: Data and their storage is a daily routine in each and every modern company, whether it’s data about clients and their behaviour, accounting and finance, or production management and supplies, etc. Even though companies are fully aware of their great value in their business, they do not always pay the best attention to their data protection. Large investment is often spent on data back-up and net safety but users are often neglected. Employees these days read email on their phones and use remote access to the company data via their computers at home. Their comfort brings the risk of the end application not being safe enough, and becomes the Trojan horse opening the system to an attack. Peter: Company data leaks are often solved only in the view on the effects they have on the company itself, without considering the further impact of the data leak. Any leak damages the company as well as the clients, business partners who must pay extra costs of better safety, remedies, etc. Our experience proves that the most frequent data leaks are caused by dated hardware and software, loss or theft of hardware, and, most often, humans. It can be an end-user mistake or a purposeful act. The impact on the company may be enormous. First because of the loss in profit, second because of fines. The good reputation of the company can be seriously damaged by news of the leak. Data leaks cannot be totally prevented. One of the ways to minimize its impact is to have a good choice of customized insurance of cyber risks.
You and your company are well known for your social responsibility. What projects are your priority? Jitka: We love the country we live and work in, and create values. Our relation towards our home country is reflected in our words as well as in the steps taken by our company, a socially and regionally responsible enterprise. I love art, therefore I am happy that we regularly sponsor cultural events. You can meet us at some concerts of the Leoš Janáček International Music Festival “Janáčkův máj”. For many years we have supported the Summer Festival of Shakespearean Theatre, and others. Roman: All three of us are very fond of sports; we can be called fans and enthusiast. We enjoy events which bring people together both in sports and culture. We are partners of the National Heritage Sight – Lower Area of Vítkovice (Dolní oblast Vítkovice, DOV). We have been a long-term supporter to sports clubs in our region, e. g. FC Baník Ostrava, HC Vítkovice, NH Basketball Ostrava and HC Frýdek-Místek. Peter: In the past we have also been partners to the prestigious awards of the “Moravian-Silesian Nurse of the Year”, we annually participate in the Nurses’ Ball. I am happy for these events as we are also a significant broker covering risk management in health care. Roman: There are many opportunities to help an individual, a group or all society. We have started a survey within our company this year, and the employees of SATUM decide which non-profit organizations will get our financial support. Let me thank our colleagues who engage with the vote. It feels great to be in a team which understands the needs of others and supports those in need. Thank you for the interview. - editorial -
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