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Internet and communications technology

We utilise state-of-the-art Internet and communications technology to ensure efficient processing and administration processes and, top-quality customer service and as instruments for developing creative insurance and pension provision solutions.

In 2006, we pioneered the development of a completely new form of motor vehicle insurance in Austria based on advanced technology. Satellite navigation, a mobile telephone network and information technology are the foundation of usage-optimised insurance (UOI).

The two-phase test run of this innovative project was an impressive success. It marks yet another milestone in our technology leadership. The key innovation: more precise definition of the risk profile by measuring the actual distance driven as well as the roads used.

Savings from a brand new form of motor vehicle insurance

300 test vehicles

are driving with the Navi Box and counting kilometres. The new motor vehicle insurance concept: the premium depends on the distance driven, as measured by a Navi Box in the car.

The core of usage-optimised insurance is the Navi Box – a small device installed in the automobile that contains a GPS receiver. Via satellite navigation, this box records when and where the car is driven. It transmits the data once per day to a server of the telematics provider via the mobile telephone network. The navigation data are then compared with a map. This makes it possible to differentiate between distances driven in the city, on rural roads and motorways. Driving on rural roads presents a statistically lower risk of accidents than driving in the city. The information obtained serves as the basis for risk-based definition of the premiums.

After the successful completion of the pilot run with 300 test drivers, we will offer motor vehicle liability insurance and comprehensive insurance of this new generation, initially to private customers, starting at the end of 2007. Anyone who drives fewer than 10,000 kilometres in a year will save up to one third of their premium costs with this new form of insurance. The market potential is large: according to our estimate, a target group of roughly 900,000 drivers exists within Austria.

Combination with mobile safety packages

Already unique within Austria, this insurance product will be perfected as a complete solution with additional services, such as accident alarm, car finder, emergency assistance, navigation system and mobile weather warnings. In an emergency, for example, the Navi Box can direct assistance to the accident site or locate a stolen car with the car finder feature.

We are preparing a special offer for companies with small or medium-sized vehicle fleets. It should serve as an electronic driving log as well as allowing locating and tracking of the vehicle fleet. Roughly 12,000 businesses come into question as potential customers for this innovation in commercial motor vehicle insurance, primarily from the areas of leasing and rental cars, car sharing, tradespersons or transport and customer service.

Planned integration of cooperation partners

We will constantly expand the mobile services associated with the UOI project through cooperation with telecommunications partners. For example, the Navi Box could be installed in containers for tracking transport goods and locating them in the event of theft. The technology has great potential to offer in the area of valuable shipments and in the construction industry. Also conceivable would be its use in a “Help Box” the size of a wrist watch. It could notify an ambulance and simplify rescue measures in the event of an emergency.

Another innovation is our “Auto & Network Environmental Bonus”. Since people who do little driving and use public transportation place less of a burden on the environment, we give all owners a personal annual pass for public transportation, and a one-time credit of two months of premiums upon conclusion of a new liability and comprehensive insurance policy. If passenger insurance is also purchased, we provide free public transportation accident insurance as well. This covers accidents occurring in the use of public transportation and is yet another innovation on the Austrian insurance market.

We reward young drivers for staying safe

We also made our motor vehicle rates considerably more attractive in 2006, through improved benefits. For young drivers in particular, we offer significant premium discounts for just three years with no claims after opening of the insurance policy.

For new driver’s license recipients who do not generate any claims at UNIQA within three years of obtaining their license, we will reimburse the additional costs for multi-phase driver’s training. This has led to a significant decline in the accidents caused by learner drivers. The revised motor vehicle rates also offer noticeable improvements for existing customers.

Professional safety check for companies

For us, prevention is a decisive factor for limiting claims in all areas of insurance. Upon conclusion of a business insurance bundle, we therefore give our commercial customers a free security package in cooperation with the world’s largest security company SECURITAS.

This security package is implemented between SECURITAS and our customers and allows many small and medium-sized enterprises to obtain an individual risk analysis and security strategy. Because break-ins to offices and business locations or the theft of laptops, computers and expensive electronics are an often underestimated risk for Austrian companies.

Direct line to a solicitor without an appointment

We have also optimised our service for legal expense insurance customers with access to legal advice. Thanks to the solicitor PLUSservice from UNIQA and the immediate legal expense assistance of the Group subsidiary Raiffeisen Versicherung, customers can directly contact one of 26 top-notch solicitor’s offices in all parts of Austria through a free hotline available on business days.

165,000 private customers

take advantage of our severe weather SMS service. This service makes an important contribution to claim prevention as part of the QualityPartnership.

As an important contribution to claim prevention, UNIQA provided roughly 165,000 private customers with 2.4 million free severe weather warnings, via SMS to their mobile phones or by e-mail to their computers, within the framework of the QualityPartnership. In addition, approximately 1,100 communities and many companies have taken advantage of this innovative offer. As another unique offering, we also made a separate service available to the agricultural sector free of charge.

Modern weather service now also for farmers

This special agricultural weather service is the first forecasting service for temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind speed and evaporation in Austria that is specific to postal code regions. Timely warnings of gale winds, rain or hail contribute to minimising claims at fruit orchards and vineyards, as well as for vehicle fleets.

More accident benefits for the same premium

Raiffeisen Versicherung has expanded the scope of benefits for its accident insurance package. In the event of an occupational or recreational accident, it provides funds to compensate for lost income, financing of therapies, treatment aids or operations, as well as home alterations.

As an additional premium-free benefit upon conclusion of an emergency package, we now offer the “Rehab Service”. Specialists support the accident victim with medical, social and occupational rehabilitation in the event of an expected prolonged invalidity of at least 35%.

Private personal old-age provisions are indispensable

270,000 Policies
The “Pension & Gestalten“ pension plan offers our customers two great opportunities to actively design their provisions for the future. They can choose between a proven, conservative investment and the future plan. The future plan offers overall higher yield expectations through special forms of investment. In 2006, we were able to conclude 270,000 policies.

As an insurance company of the next generation, creativity in long-term old-age provisions is particularly important to us. Because more than four out of five Austrians consider private personal old-age provisions to be indispensable. Nearly two-thirds have already started at age 30 and spend an average of € 138 per month, primarily for private life and pension insurance.

Future-proof provisions with the three pillars

Three pillars of old-age provision

Old-age provisions that are secure against the future are based on three pillars: state pension, company pension and private provisions. Private provisions, which are subsidised by the state with premium discounts, are particularly popular within Austria. Up to a maximum annual contribution of € 2,115, the government offers a subsidy of 9% for 2007. Roughly 1 million Austrians already take advantage of this opportunity. We are the clear market leader in old-age provisions, with 300,000 policies and a market share of approximately 30%.

The advantages: Receipt of the deposited capital plus the government premium is guaranteed. After expiration of the minimum ten-year contract duration – insofar as no pension qualification exists – the collected capital can be paid out subject to subsequent taxation, reinvested in old-age provisions or used as a one-time contribution for a life-long pension, payable at no earlier than 40 years of age.

There is tremendous untapped potential in the area of company old-age provisions. The introduction of employee group insurance based on the model of classic life insurance expanded the range of offerings in the area of company old-age provisions previously served predominately by pension funds.

Great interest in company old-age provisions

According to an exclusive study by the market research institute FESSEL-GfK commissioned by Raiffeisen Versicherung, the employee group insurance was still unknown to 77% of Austrians shortly after its introduction. The same study showed that those surveyed placed company old-age provisions products in fourth place amongst the provision alternatives. Every second worker would even prefer a company pension to a salary increase. We offer models for this with our employee group insurance and provident insurance, as well as through pension funds.

UNIQA is seeking to score points with companies through a new employee group insurance. The offer provides companies with the security they desire to ensure their capability to provide promised benefits through the guarantee of minimum interest rates, allocated profits and life-long annuity payments.

Transforming salary into company pension

The UNIQA Group has also developed for companies two attractive models for company pensions through conversion of employee salary increases – with advantages for both sides. Salary increases converted into contributions for provident insurance save the company money on social security contributions and are deductible as business expenses. At the same time, employees transform the salary increase, which is not subject to taxation and social security contributions, gross for net into a guaranteed life-long pension, with provisions, for surviving dependants.

Companies have a choice in the type of investment: either classic life insurance with guaranteed payout values and annual vested profit allocations, or unit-linked life insurance with greater prospects for better interest rates on the invested money coupled with higher risks.

We are also optimally situated in the area of company old-age provisions through pension funds. Our partner ÖPAG, the most experienced pension fund in Austria, is considered the best pension fund in the country. In addition, the new indemnity system has been competently implemented in our complete solution for business customers with our partner for company pension schemes, ÖVK Vorsorgekasse.

New fund policy with optimal freedom of choice

Our specialist and the market leader for unit-linked life insurance, FINANCELIFE, once again set new standards for innovative provisions in 2006. With “FL active” and “My Raiffeisen fund policy PLUS“, this creative product developer created exclusive offers that combine guaranteed insurance protection with an intelligent concept for asset management.

These offers give the customer power to choose. During the policy term, they can combine the guarantee on their invested money with investment in international stocks or bond funds of various compositions however they like. And they can change their decision at any time. A flexible opportunity for future provisions that is unique throughout the market.

FINANCELIFE created another flexible investment concept in the form of the limited edition “Bonus & Garantie II” and “TOPAS BEST 20-GARANT II”. It combines the capital guarantee with high yield prospects and tax advantages. The income earned year after year is not only regularly credited to the investor, it is paid out tax-free after just five years, or no later than at the end of the contract.

Interview with Franz Fischler

Next Generation

Roland Kwitt, 25
Austria, research assistant at Salzburg Research

In his diploma thesis, which was recognised with an award from the Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture, the ITS graduate developed methods of detecting, amongst other things, hacker attacks on the World Wide Web. The Salzburg University of Technologies has already put these methods successfully into practice.

Mr Kwitt, your industry is considered very rich in innovation. How do you arrive at new ideas?
Well, we don’t reinvent the wheel. But the world is constantly in motion and this always gives rise to new challenges. It is only necessary to critically question what exists – then one finds sufficient ideas regarding what could still be optimised. I simply enjoy asking the questions: How can that be done better, more efficiently, more quickly? How can I achieve my optimal goal?

That sounds very technical and rational.
It isn’t intended to. I am of the opinion that technology should always be in the service of humanity. For example, my programme makes it possible to exchange information more securely. To me, technology is a tool that can be used intelligently for the optimisation of work processes.

Franz Fischler became the Austrian Federal Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in 1989, and as a member of the European Commission for European agricultural policy from 1995 to 2004, he was responsible for rural development and, as of 2000, for European fishery policy as well. Today, he works as a consultant, gives talks and lectures, and is the Chairman of the Eco-Social Forum.

Dr Fischler, you are familiar with the opportunities and pitfalls of the political process. What fascinates you in particular about politics?
In politics, I have always been fascinated by the ability to influence developments and shape the future. I have also always enjoyed being constantly in direct contact with many different people.

How do you measure the success of a project – based on public acclaim?
Public opinion is a factor that should be considered. However, the most important thing in politics is to communicate decisions transparently and verifiably. In addition, I measure politics, as well as myself, based on implementation of the goals.

“One must first invest, then one can profit.”

As a qualitative market leader, we are always looking for new and innovative ideas that further improve our service quality. We consider it both our job and our duty to confirm our customers‘ trust in UNIQA, as being the leader in innovation through customised solutions.

You are considered a “European by conviction”. What tasks still lie ahead for Europe, in your opinion?
The most important tasks for the future are, in my opinion, ensuring sufficient jobs and fighting unemployment. To do this, it will be necessary to make our economy more know-how intensive, reduce bureaucracy and also ensure social justice and more responsibility toward the environment. This is also the European answer to globalisation. However, these are not tasks for the European Community but rather shared tasks in which we all must make our contribution. New sales markets that will help secure jobs will also arise in this way. There is tremendous potential for Austria in the East, in particular. We already profit the most from the expansion and must do everything possible to continue this success story. The Central and Eastern European countries have a long way to catch up, particularly in banking and insurance, as well as in IT. We must optimally serve the markets at our doorstep.

What does that mean in concrete terms?
We need a more innovative economy. We only register half as many patents every year as the USA and also have only half as much risk capital. One must first invest, then one can profit.

What is your personal recipe for success?
I believe that one should be open to everything new, but at the same time maintain a critical attitude. Only by asking new questions to provoke new answers can we make progress in politics.

Increasing importance of private nursing care provisions

The increasing average age of society presents enormous challenges, not only for the state pension system but also for the financing of caretaking insurance. Approximately 550,000 Austrians currently require nursing care. In fifteen years, there will be an additional 350,000 people of over the age of 75. According to estimates, caretaking costs could rise by up to 400% by 2030. The state nursing care allowance may then fall far short of financing care for the elderly.

Timely private nursing care provisions are becoming the order of the day. For this reason, UNIQA and Raiffeisen Versicherung developed new, flexible options for provisions against the financial burdens care in old age. Nursing care insurance is available as a supplement to pension insurance and also as an independent policy with single or recurring premiums. The benefits are independent of the state nursing care allowance. Independent experts determine the level of nursing care needs.

New answers for the future of the health care system

As the insurance company of a new generation, we must provide new answers to the burning question of the future of our health care system, because expenditures will increase over the coming decades at above-average rates due to demographic developments and the rising costs for modern high-tech medicine.

With new types of products and attractive offers, we are setting a clear course to curb the rise in costs and premiums through prevention. We provide private customers with information and meaningful offers for a healthy lifestyle through our VitalClub. And we expand on this prevention initiative for business customers and their employees. In cooperation with the Institute for Health Management, our UNIQA HealthService offers companies not only individual prevention modules but also a comprehensive health balance sheet for the company.

Health account for curbing contribution increases

We imagine a private health account as a suitable instrument for curbing future contribution increases in the state health care system. It would be funded with regular payments and serve for financing of minor health care services that are no longer covered by the state. State subsidisation of this health account, as for old-age provisions, would make the model even more attractive.

“Select special category” is a bestseller

We have made the entry into private health insurance more interesting for people just starting their careers and for young families on a tight budget with the new “select special category” premium class. We are the only insurance company in Austria to cover the full costs of particularly serious illnesses and accidents at lower premiums than with complete medical insurance of the special premium class.

In addition, we offer the savings model known as FutureBonus. During times when one is earning well, it is possible to pay a higher premium, which reduces the premium burden after retirement.

Increasing outsourcing of processes

We are supporting the increasing internationalisation of our business through creative solutions in our administrative and service processes. For instance, we set up Group IT competence centres in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Croatia in recent years.

In these competence centres, we not only maintain and develop IT solutions for local markets but also for other regions within our field of operations in Central and Eastern Europe. We even distribute classic insurance processes within the UNIQA Group to various locations in the respective region. In this way, we utilise cost and synergy advantages without any decrease in the quality of the service.

The internationalisation of the administrative and processing processes is also creating new jobs in Austria, since the duties of roughly 200 employees at the UNIQA headquarters are directly related to the activities of the Group outside of Austria.

U.CIS for a new era of customer service

We took a decisive step in 2006 toward better utilisation of our customer potential, and toward creation of many more complete customer relationships, with the rollout of the UNIQA customer information system U.CIS. The modern online database opens up an entirely new dimension of advising. U.CIS offers us the opportunity to consolidate and statistically analyse all the information >from our existing policies, supplemented by the information collected by our representatives in personal conversations with customers.

Electronic access to the individual profile of every policyholder offers the opportunity for service tailored to individual needs as well as access to untapped potentials through cross selling. The start of a new era for our ExclusiveSales programme, which we are also introducing at the subsidiaries in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 2007.

The holistic approach of U.CIS, which includes not just an individual person but the whole family, will contribute to significantly increasing the number of policies per customer. However, the system will also allow for better service quality and therefore customer loyalty.

Competition offensive ensures maximum quality

With the aspiration of being an insurance company of a new generation, we had to offer our most demanding customers an extra class of service. Constantly improving this service is the goal of our ServiceCup. The winning team of this internal competition must rank at the top in multiple categories: correct processing of policies, the speed of precise and unbureaucratic handling of claims or accessibility by telephone.

Ratings by our customers decide the winner of the ServiceCup. The gratifying result: 81% of customers gave us top marks.

But customers also expect attention, speed and correctness in the processing of a claim. For this reason, we hold the employees of the service departments to the highest standards of professionalism, sensitivity and communication skills.

Top satisfaction with the central customer service

This challenge must be met by our central customer service in 2,500 inquiries per day. Competence as well as the ability to establish an insightful dialogue are basic requirements for the employees.

We therefore apply the highest standards to their selection, education and training. Our customers’ assessment of our central customer service, which also works for group companies such as Raiffeisen Versicherung and FINANCELIFE, is clear: 94.2% of those surveyed are very satisfied or satisfied with their personal contact person, 85% would recommend our central customer service to a friend.

Providing our customers with online access to their policy data is a natural part of our business. With the Internet communications portal myUNIQA, they have constant access to the PartnerConto, including the most important services, all insurance policies, the payment plan or an overview of the no-claim bonus, their current PartnerPoints status or the contact information of their exclusive representative.

Pioneering accomplishment in portal technology

Raiffeisen Versicherung also achieved a pioneering accomplishment in a new portal technology for its customers. They now have access to an exclusive offering at the Internet address mein.raiffeisen.at.

In addition to the overview of policies and premium due dates available at any time, the user can order special benefits through this online service, such as short holidays in top hotels at preferential rates or hotel vouchers.



UNIQA customers with the MedPLUS24 service can directly contact the medical call centre staffed with knowledgeable physicians to answer their questions. Medical information of all kinds is available, such as explanation of test results and diagnoses, a second opinion, alternative treatment options, tips for medical check ups, travel medicine or addresses of appropriate hospitals and supplemental services.

Our health platform MedUNIQA has now long established itself as the largest and most comprehensive Austrian medical website with over 160,000 accesses per month, thanks in particular to the current and up-to-date articles it publishes on the Internet. The professional mixture of knowledge base, news and, above all, services is exceptionally attractive. Not least of which is the MedPLUS24 service, which offers our customers the opportunity to consult with a physician by telephone.


  • With the usage-optimised insurance (UOI) we are working on a unique and innovative motor vehicle insurance product that will be introduced to the market at the end of 2007.

  • In the area of pension provisions, the UNIQA Group is the clear market leader in Austria with a market share of 30%. We are also forerunners in health insurance and in nursing care provisions.

  • The U.CIS customer information system provides our customer representatives with a new dimension in consulting – and gives them access to untapped cross selling potentials.
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