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 2020. The two largest insurance groups generated around 45%.
The Austrian insurance companies generated a total premium volume of EUR 13.9 billion in the first three quarters of 2020. Premiums rose strongly at the beginning of 2020, recording an increase of 4.1% in the 1st quarter of 2020 according to the Austrian Insurance Association (VVO). In the second and third quarters of 2020, the sharp economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic also had an effect on the insurance industry. This led to a moderate year-on-year increase of 2.0% being recorded for the 1st to 3rd quarters of 2020. The increase was due to growth in property and casualty insurance (+2.7%) and health insurance (+3.9%). Life insurance recorded its fifth consecutive year of losses with a slight decrease of 0.3%.
Motor own damage insurance, which recorded a year-on-year increase of 5.0%, 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 a change in prices. Motor third party liability recorded an increase of 0.8%. The non-motor lines of business rose 2.8%, with travel insurance recording a sharp decline of 52.5% due to COVID-19.
While regular premium life insurance fell 2.1% in the 1st to 3rd quarters of 2020, single premium life insurance rose. After declining strongly in the previous four years, single premium business recorded double-digit growth (+13.5%) in the first nine months of 2020.
Health insurance premiums recorded a year-on-year increase of 3.9%.
According to Axco Global Statistics, a per capita average of EUR 1,967 was spent on insurance in Austria in 2019. Of this, EUR 1,356 was spent in the non-life insurance area and EUR 611 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 23.8% the VIG insurance companies represent Austria’s largest insurance group. Together they hold first place in the market in property and casualty and in life insurance, and second place in health insurance.
Financial performance indicators in the Austria segment
The insurance companies of VIG Insurance Group in Austria wrote EUR 4,030.7 million in premiums in 2020 (2019: EUR 3,943.3 million). This corresponds to a year-on-year increase of 2.2%, which was primarily due to the good performance recorded by other property and casualty insurance. Net earned premiums were EUR 3,275.6 million in 2020 (2019: EUR 3,226.2 million).
Result before taxes
The Austria segment generated a result before taxes of EUR 178.7 million in 2020 (2019: EUR 207.3 million). This corresponds to a decrease of 13.8%, which was primarily the result of COVID-19-related impairments.
The combined ratio improved to 92.7% in 2020, mainly due to a significant increase in reinsurance commissions (2019: 93.5%).