Protection against loss of assets

Property and casualty insurance

A “classic”: when it comes to insurance, most people think first and foremost of traditional indemnity or property insurance. For a good reason: it’s likely that the oldest insurance contracts – they go back to antiquity – pertained to seafaring, which was a property risk. An essential feature was, and is, the transfer of an individual risk to a larger collective that is responsible for the loss of assets due to possible damages.

Not only is property insurance the oldest, it is also the largest segment of the insurance industry in the world based on . This is also true for UNIQA: around 50 per cent of the in the Group are generated in this sector.

Hedging fundamental risks

This high amount reflects the elementary importance of the things being insured. It’s about living – and thus one of the basic human needs; it’s about property, mobility and protection against accidents or natural catastrophes. Put simply: it’s about protection against major financial losses in the event of a claim. This applies to private individuals as well as businesses who – apart from traditional property insurance – also need protection against operational interruptions and disruptions or, more recently, against damage caused by cybercrime.

A variety of topics and products

The UNIQA Group offers a wide range of property and casualty insurance in line with the diversity of needs. In addition to motor vehicle insurance, these include homeownership, private accident, legal expense, liability, online shopping, transport and travel insurance, as well as numerous custom-made packages for corporate customers. In addition to the aforementioned insurance against operational interruptions or cyber crime, there are further economic modules such as technical, termination or all-risk insurance, as well as industry-specific solutions such as the agricultural insurance bundle.

The bare insurance offer is also supplemented in this sector with various additional, attractive services. These include the UNIQA ServiceBot, which helps customers navigate through UNIQA’s numerous service and product offerings, or various hotlines like the Anwalt PLUSservice for legal advice over the telephone, the Zuhause PLUS24service that organises services including plumbers, locksmiths and electricians in the event of damage, or the 24-hour emergency service specifically for businesses.

The “classic” insurance …

Innovation with a capital I

As in the other sectors, the UNIQA Group constantly adjusts its product and service portfolios in property insurance to meet new requirements and needs in order to stay attractive to its customers. Living and mobility are especially important topics currently undergoing significant changes.

Developments surrounding home ownership and thus the potential business models for home ownership are advancing at a breath-taking pace under the keyword “Smart Home”.

For UNIQA, this trend represents interesting potential for new digital offerings, while providing more and more opportunities for customer-friendly online claim services to handle their claims.

On the other hand, developments in the motor vehicle industry, such as car sharing or autonomous cars, could massively change mobility behaviour and thus the insurance business. People, especially in urban areas, are increasingly relying on the principle of using instead of owning. This also has an inherent impact on the insurance solutions needed. And in the case of self-driving cars, the question arises as to whether the software or product manufacturer bears the responsibility in the event of an accident. Here again, need-based, innovative insurance is in demand.

At the same time, the safety requirements in vehicles are becoming ever higher. According to an EU regulation, all passenger cars and light commercial vehicles newly registered since the end of March 2018 must be equipped with an automatic emergency call system. UNIQA was well ahead of this change and can now look back on ten years of experience and 35,000 satisfied customers with its innovative product SafeLine. This add-on module uses a vehicle-mounted GPS device to quickly mobilise emergency personnel in the event of an accident. In addition, it offers, alongside various other features, a premium savings option if a customer chooses not to use their mobile phone while driving.

… generates around 50 per cent of the group premiums

Around 50 per cent of group premiums

As already mentioned above, around 50 per cent of the premiums written by the UNIQA Group come from property and casualty insurance. The private customer business accounts for the largest share at 70 per cent. But business with companies and corporations of all kinds – from a one-person business to globally operating corporations or public institutions to regional associations – is also of great importance to UNIQA, amounting to 30 per cent of the total premium volume.

Most property and casualty insurance policies are taken out for a short term, usually of up to three years. A broad spread covering the risks of a great many customers and the relatively short maturity allow for moderate capital requirements, making this sector attractive as a result.

In Austria, UNIQA accounts for approximately 44 per cent of the total premiums in property and casualty insurance; in CEE this number is 62 per cent.

Whilst the UNIQA Group’s offerings are being utilized by customers in Austria to the fullest extent, motor vehicle insurance is currently dominating in CEE with a premium share of 56 per cent. The insurance penetration is also significantly higher in Austria. A good example is household insurance: in Austria, around 98 per cent of the population uses such a product; in CEE, only one in two currently does, but the trend is on the rise.

14.3 million contracts in property and casualty insurance
14.3 million contracts in property and casualty insurance (pie chart)
Total premiums written. All premiums from contracts written in the financial year from business acquired by the company directly and as inward reinsurance.
Premiums written
All premiums due during the financial year arising from insurance contracts under direct insurance business, regardless of whether these premiums relate (either wholly or partially) to a later financial year. This involves (net) premiums written when reduced by the amount ceded to reinsurance companies.
Hedging against unwanted changes in exchange rates or prices using an appropriate offsetting item, particularly derivative financial instruments.