Methods of accounting and valuation

The annual financial statements of the companies in Austria and abroad included in the consolidated financial statements were predominantly prepared up to the reporting date of UNIQA Versicherungen AG, i.e. 31 December. For recording in the consolidated financial statements, the annual financial statements of UNIQA Versicherungen AG and its included subsidiaries are unified to conform to the accounting and valuation principles of IFRS/IAS and, as far as actuarial provisions, acquisition costs and actuarial expenses and income are concerned, according to the provisions of US GAAP.

Securities transactions are recorded using the settlement date. As a rule, the fair values are derived from an active market.

Intangible assets

Intangible assets include goodwill, deferred acquisition costs, the current value of life, property and casualty insurance contracts and other items.

Goodwill is the difference between the purchase price for the stake in the subsidiary and the Group’s share in the equity after the disclosure of hidden reserves at the time of acquisition.

Capitalised acquisition costs for insurance activities that are directly related to new business and/or to extensions of existing policies and that vary in line with that business are capitalised and written off over the term of the insurance contracts they refer to. If they are attributable to property and casualty insurance, they are written off over the probable policy term, with a maximum of five years. For life insurance, the acquisition costs are amortised over the duration of the policy in the same proportion as the expected profit margin of each individual year is realised in comparison to the total margin to be expected from the policies. For long-term health insurance policies, the depreciation of acquisition costs is measured in line with the proportionate share of earned premiums in the present value of expected future premium income. The changes in capitalised acquisition costs are shown as operating expenses.

With regard to life insurance business acquired, the updating of the current value follows the progression of the estimated gross margins.

The other intangible assets include both purchased and self-developed software which is depreciated on a straight-line basis over its useful economic life of two to five years.

Land and buildings, including buildings on third-party land

Land and buildings that are held as long-term investments are recognised according to IAS 40 at acquisition or construction costs, reduced by the amounts of scheduled amortisations and depreciation. Owner-used land and buildings are shown at book value (IAS 16). The scheduled depreciation term generally corresponds to the useful life, up to a maximum of 80 years. Real estate is depreciated on a straight-line basis over time.

The list of fair values can be found in the notes under no. 1 and no. 3.

Shares in affiliated and associated companies

To the extent that the annual financial statements of affiliated and associated companies are not consolidated for being of minor significance and/or included at equity, these companies are valued as available for sale in accordance with IAS 39.


With the exception of securities held to maturity, mortgage loans and other loans, the investments are listed at the current fair value, which is established by determining a market value or stock market price. In the case of investments for which no market value can be determined, the fair value is determined through internal valuation models, external reports or on the basis of estimates of what amounts could be achieved under the current market conditions in event of proper liquidation.

Securities held to maturity, mortgage loans and other loans

These are recognised as amortised costs in the balance sheet. This means that the difference between the acquisition costs and the repayment amount changes the book value with an effect on income in proportion to time and/or equity. The items included under other loans are recognised at their nominal amount less any redemptions made in the interim.

Securities available for sale

These are recognised in the financial statements at their fair value on the reporting date. Differences between the fair value and historical acquisition costs are dealt with under equity with a neutral effect on income, after deduction of the provisions for latent profit sharing in life insurance and deferred taxes. Depreciation that affects income (impairment) is undertaken only where we anticipate a lasting fall in value. This uses the fluctuations in fair value over the last nine months as well as the absolute difference between acquisition costs and the fair value on the reporting date as the basis for assessing a necessary impairment. For variable yield securities we assume a sustained impairment when the highest quoted price within the last nine months lies below the acquisition cost or the difference between the cost of acquisition and the market value is greater than 20%. These same selection criteria are also applied for fixed interest securities in order to perform a precise credit-related evaluation of a sustained impairment per security for the items in question. In addition, foreign exchange differentials resulting from fixed-income securities are recognised with an effect on income. Foreign exchange differentials resulting from variable yield securities are recognised as equity with no effect on income to the extent that these are not securities which are written off as the result of impairment. The fair value of other investments is based in part on external and internal company ratings.

Investments held for trade (trading portfolio)

Derivatives are used within the limits permitted by the Austrian Insurance Supervisory Act for hedging investments and for increasing earnings. All fluctuations in value are recognised in the income statement.

Investments at fair value through profit or loss (fair value option)

Structured products are not split between the underlying transaction and derivative, but are accounted for as a unit. All the structured products can therefore be found in the “Financial instruments at fair value through profit or loss” item of the balance sheet. Unrealised profits and losses are dealt with in the income statement. In accordance with IAS 39 (11A), ABS bonds, structured bonds, hedge funds and a special annuity fund with a high share of derivatives are also dealt with under the items for securities at fair value through profit or loss.

Valuation methods and assumptions on which the current market valuation was based
The current market value of assets traded on the active markets is determined with respect to the listed market prices (includes government bonds, corporate bonds, listed shares).

The current market value of other financial assets (excluding derivative instruments) is determined in accordance with generally accepted valuation models, based on discounted cash flow analyses and using prices of observable current market transactions and trader listings for similar instruments.

The current market value of derivative instruments is calculated using listed prices. If such prices are not available, discounted cash flow analyses are performed with application of the corresponding interest yield curves for the term of the instruments in the case of derivatives without optional components as well as option price models in the case of derivatives with optional components. Currency futures are valued based on listed forward rates and interest yield curves that are derived from listed market interest rates in consideration of the contact maturity dates. Interest swaps are valued with the cash value of the estimated future payment flows. The discounting took place using the pertinent interest yield curves, which were derived from listed interest rates.

Deposits with credit institutions and other investments

These are recognised at their fair value.

Investments held for unit-linked and index-linked life insurance policyholders

These investments concern life insurance policies whose value or profit is determined by investments for which the policyholder carries the risk, i.e. the unit-linked or index-linked life insurance policies. The investments in question are collected in asset pools, balanced at their current market value and managed separately from the remaining investments of the companies. The policyholders are entitled to all income from these investments. The amount of the balanced investments strictly corresponds to the actuarial provisions (before reinsurance business ceded) for life insurance, to the extent that the investment risk is borne by the policyholders. The unrealised profits and losses from fluctuations in the current market values of the investment pools are thus counterbalanced by the corresponding changes in these provisions.

Shares of reinsurers in the technical provisions

These are recognised on the assets side of the balance sheet, taking the reinsurance contracts into consideration.


These are recognised at their nominal value, taking into account redemptions made and reasonable value adjustments.

Liquid funds

These are valued at their nominal amounts.

Other tangible assets

The tangible assets and inventories included on the balance sheet under other assets are recognised at acquisition and production costs, net of depreciation. Tangible assets are depreciated on a straight-line basis over their useful life (up to a maximum of ten years).


The subscribed capital corresponds to the calculated nominal value per share that was achieved upon issuing of the shares.

The capital reserves represent the amount earned over and above the calculated nominal value upon issue of the shares.

The revaluation reserve contains unrealised profits and losses from market valuations of securities available for sale.

The revenue reserves include the withheld profit of the UNIQA Group.

The amount of the actuarial gains and losses from the provisions for pensions and similar obligations will be reported in the shareholders’ equity, after deducting deferred taxes and deferred profit participation and without affecting income under the item actuarial gains and losses from defined retirement benefit.

The portfolio of own shares is deducted from the equity (revenue reserves).

The minority interests in shareholders’ equity represent the proportional minority shares in equity.

Technical provisions

Unearned premiums
Unearned premiums are in principle calculated for each individual policy and exactly to the day. If they are attributable to life insurance, they are included in the actuarial provision.

Actuarial provision
Actuarial provisions are established in the accident, life and health insurance lines. Their recognition value on the balance sheet is determined according to actuarial principles on the basis of the present value of future benefits to be paid by the insurer less the present value of future net premiums the insurer expects to receive. The actuarial provision of the life insurer is calculated by taking into account prudent and contractually agreed bases of calculation.

For policies of a mainly investment character (e.g. unit-linked life insurance), the regulations in the Statement of Financial Accounting Standards no. 97 (FAS 97) are used to value the actuarial provision. The actuarial provision is arrived at by combining the invested amounts, the change in value of the underlying investments and the withdrawals under the policy. For unit-linked insurance policies, where the policyholder carries the sole risk of the value of the investment rising or falling, the actuarial provision is listed as a separate liability entry under “Technical provisions for life insurance policies held on account and at risk of policyholders”.

The actuarial provisions for health insurance are determined on a calculation basis of “best estimate”, taking into account safety margins. Once the calculation bases have been determined, these have to be applied to the corresponding partial portfolio for the whole term (locked-in principle).

Provision for outstanding claims
The provision for outstanding claims in property insurance consists of the future payment obligations determined by realistic estimation using recognised statistical methods taking into account current or expected volumes, including the related expense of loss adjustment. This applies to claims already reported as well as for claims incurred, but not yet reported. In insurance lines where past experience does not allow the application of statistical procedures, individual loss provisions are made.

Life insurance is calculated on an individual loss basis with the exception of the provision for unreported claims.

For health insurance, the provisions for outstanding claims are estimated on the basis of past experience, taking into consideration the known arrears in claim payments.

The provision for the assumed reinsurance business generally complies with the figures of the cedents.

Provision for premium refunds and profit sharing
The provision for premium refunds includes, on the one hand, the amounts for profit-related and profit-unrelated profit sharing to which the policyholders are entitled on the basis of statutory or contractual regulations and, on the other hand, the amount resulting from the valuation of assets and obligations of life insurers deviating from valuation under commercial law. The amount of the provision for latent profit sharing amounts to generally 85% of the valuation differentials before tax. These valuation differences can also give rise to net positive items, which are also listed here.

Other technical provisions
This item primarily contains the provision for contingent losses for acquired reinsurance portfolios as well as a provision for expected cancellations and premium losses.

Technical provisions for life insurance policies held on account and at risk of policyholders
This item concerns the actuarial provisions and the remaining technical provisions for obligations from life insurance policies whose value or income is determined by investments for which the policyholder bears the risk or for which the benefit is index-linked. As a general rule, the valuation corresponds with the investments of the unit-linked and index-linked life insurance written at current market values.

Other provisions for pensions and similar obligations

For the performance-orientated old age provision systems of the UNIQA Group, pension provisions are calculated in accordance with IAS 19 using the projected unit credit method. Future obligations are spread over the whole employment duration of the employees. All actuarial gains and losses due to changed parameters were so far recognised as having an effect on income. The calculation is based on current mortality, disability and fluctuation probabilities, expected increases in salaries, pension entitlements and pension payments as well as a realistic technical interest rate. The technical interest rate, which is determined in conformity with the market and on the basis of the reporting date, is in line with the market yield of long-term, high-quality industrial or government bonds.

To increase transparency in the reporting process, the UNIQA Group has decided to exercise the right stipulated in IAS 19.93A ff concerning balancing the accounts of pension and severance reserves, and to implement this change as of 31 December 2010. From now on, the amount of the actuarial gains and losses will therefore be reported as shareholders’ equity, after deducting deferred taxes and deferred profit participation and without affecting income.

The amount of other provisions is determined by the extent to which the provisions will probably be made use of. Payables and other liabilities are shown at the amount to be repaid.

Deferred taxes

Deferred tax assets and liabilities are to be created according to IAS 12 for temporary differences arising from the comparison of a stated asset or an obligation using the respective taxable value. This results in probable tax burdens affecting future cash-flow. These are to be accounted for independently of the date of their release. Moreover, according to IAS, deferred taxes for accumulated losses brought forward and not yet used are to be capitalised to the extent that they can be used in the future with adequate probability.

Value adjustments (impairments)

In principle, the carrying amounts of assets on the balance sheet are checked at least once a year with regard to possible impairment. Securities with an expected lasting and/or significant decrease in value are depreciated with an effect on income. The entire real estate inventory is subject to recurrent valuation through external reports prepared by legally sworn experts. If there is a foreseeable lasting reduction in the value of assets, their carrying amount is reduced.


Of the premiums written in the area of unit and index-linked life insurance, only those parts calculated to cover the risk and costs are allocated as premiums.

Classes of insurance

(direct business and partly accepted reinsurance business)

  • Life insurance
  • Unit-linked and index-linked life insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Casualty insurance
  • General liability insurance
  • Motor TPL insurance, vehicle and passenger insurance
  • Marine, aviation and transport insurance
  • Legal expenses insurance
  • Fire and business interruption insurance
  • Housebreaking, burglary and robbery insurance
  • Water damage insurance
  • Glass insurance
  • Storm insurance
  • Household insurance
  • Hail insurance
  • Livestock insurance
  • Machinery and business interruption insurance
  • Construction insurance
  • Credit insurance
  • Other forms of insurance