Austrian insurance market
The top 5 insurance groups in the country generated around 72% of the premium volume in Austria in the 1st to 3rd quarters of 2019. The two largest insurance groups generated around 45%.
The Austrian insurance companies generated a total premium volume of EUR 13.6 billion in the first three quarters of 2019. The year-on-year increase of 2.1% was primarily due to the growth in property and casualty insurance (+4.6%) and health insurance (+4.2%). Life insurance recorded its fourth consecutive year of losses with a decrease of 3.1%.
Motor own damage insurance, which recorded an increase of 6.6%, was the main driver of growth in property and casualty insurance. The positive change was due to an increase in the number of policies and an increase in average premiums. Motor third party liability recorded an increase of 1.6%.
The downward trend in life insurance continued as a result of the ongoing low interest rate environment.
Income from regular premium life insurance fell 1.6% in the1st to 3rd quarters of 2019 and the income from single premium life insurance dropped even more, by 13.1%. The largest decrease was recorded by endowment insurance, which fell 9.9%. Unit-linked and capital forming life insurance also decreased in the 1st to 3rd quarters of 2019 (-4.7% and -3.0%, respectively). There is, however, still interest in occupational disability insurance and nursing care insurance, which recorded increases of 10.9% and 5.2%, respectively. Health insurance premiums recorded an increase of 4.2%.
According to Axco Global Statistics, a per capita average of EUR 1,940 was spent on insurance in Austria in 2018. Of this, EUR 1,311 was spent in the non-life insurance area and EUR 629 in the life insurance area.
VIG companies in Austria
VIG Insurance Group is represented by the two insurance companies Wiener Städtische and Donau Versicherung in Austria. s Versicherung, which was merged with Wiener Städtische in 2018, continues to exist as a brand for bancassurance customers. Wiener Städtische also operates via branches in Italy and Slovenia. VIG Holding operates out of Austria as a reinsurer of the insurance group and as an insurer in the cross-border corporate business.
Since 2019, it has also been active in the traditional industrial insurance business through branch offices in the Northern European countries of Sweden, Norway and Denmark. VIG Holding is assigned to the Central Functions segment.
With a market share of 23.4% the VIG insurance companies represent Austria’s largest insurance group. Together they hold first place in the property and casualty and life insurance, and second place in health insurance.
Financial performance indicators in the Austria segment
The insurance companies of VIG in Austria wrote EUR 3,943.3 million in gross premiums in 2019 (2018: EUR 3,839.9 million). This corresponds to a year-on-year increase of 2.7%, which was primarily due to the good performance recorded for other property and casualty insurance, especially corporate business. Net earned premiums were EUR 3,226.2 million in 2019 (2018: EUR 3,158.3 million).
Result before taxes
The result before taxes in the Austria segment rose 21.7% to EUR 207.3 million in 2019 due to an improved combined ratio and a higher financial result, due to the sale of shares in S IMMO AG (2018: EUR 170.4 million).
The combined ratio improved further to 93.5% in 2019 due to lower claims and cost ratios (2018: 94.2%).