In terms of premiums, property and casualty insurance is the second-largest insurance line in the UNIQA Group, just behind life insurance. This insurance line includes property insurance for private persons and companies, as well as private casualty insurance. In property and casualty insurance, we cleared €2.6 billion in premiums across the Group in 2015; this was also about 42 per cent of total premium volume.
Property and casualty insurance – the basics
With insurance against loss or damage, UNIQA provides a financial compensation in the event of a claim. Examples of property insurance are fire insurance, comprehensive motor vehicle insurance and liability insurance. The principle of specific fulfilment of demand applies here: the insurance benefit is determined by the insured sum, the insured value and the amount of the claim. In contrast, casualty insurance is a fixed-sum insurance product: the insurance benefit is set to a precise amount in advance.
The largest share by far in the volume of property and casualty insurance comes from consumer business. Most property and casualty insurance policies are taken out for a short term, usually of up to three years. Broad distribution across a great many customers and the relatively short duration of these products keep the capital requirements moderate, making this field of business attractive.
Profitability increased and combined ratio lowered
An important quantity for property and casualty insurance is the combined ratio: the relationship between the sum of insurance benefits and operating expenses on the one hand, and the premiums on the other. The lower this number is, the more profitable our business. Since the launch of our UNIQA 2.0 strategic programme, we have been working constantly on strengthening our operational profitability. We can see how successful our efforts have been in the improvement of the combined ratio, which we have been able to reduce every year since 2011. In 2015, we already reached a combined ratio after reinsurance of 97.8 per cent for the Group, after 99.6 per cent in 2014, 99.8 per cent in 2013, 101.3 per cent in 2012 and 104.9 per cent in 2011.