Health insurance, in terms of premiums, is the third-largest insurance line in the UNIQA Group. It includes voluntary health insurance for private customers, commercial preventive healthcare and opt-out offers for certain independent contractors such as lawyers, architects, and chemists. In health insurance, we cleared just under €1.0 billion in premiums across the Group in 2015; this was about 16 per cent of total premium volume. We are the undisputed market leader in this line of insurance in Austria, with a 47 per cent market share. About 92 per cent of premiums come from Austria, with the remaining 8 per cent coming from international business.
Health insurance – the basics
Private health insurance is a property/casualty insurance product. In Austria, however, it is calculated “as a type of life insurance”. This simply means that assurance cover is built up at the beginning of the policy term to finance benefits as they increase with age. Terminations by the insurer are not possible in health insurance. Because cost structures change over time, premiums are continuously adjusted.
About one-fifth of health insurance benefits go to stationary care (for example, premium category), around one-fifth to out-patient care and fixed-sum insurance products such as daily benefits for hospital stays. In Austria, the UNIQA Group also operates private hospitals through the PremiQaMed Group, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of UNIQA Österreich Versicherungen AG.
Stable long-term business model
Health insurance is characterised by stable contributions to earnings, long-term contracts, and a positive growth outlook. Premiums rise in harmony with the development of health costs and life expectancy. Because health insurance provisions are not transferrable in the event of a withdrawal, the rate of cancellations in this line is low. Health insurance, unlike property insurance, is scarcely influenced by elemental events. However, the current low interest rate environment in Europe also poses a challenge to this line of insurance.