Highlights of 2020
Two bonds placed successfully:
financing for the AXA acquisition and the green bond
We successfully issued bonds with a value of €800 million in July 2020 – a senior bond for €600 million and a green bond for €200 million. Investor demand was considerable: the senior bond was more than five times oversubscribed, while the green subordinated bond – the first green bond issued by an insurance company in Austria – was even more than nine times oversubscribed. While the funds from the senior bond are being used to finance the AXA acquisition, the proceeds from the green bond will be used for projects aimed at protecting the environment and climate, such as wind energy, solar energy, environmentally friendly transport solutions, as well as waste and water recycling. The sustainable character of this bond issue was also highlighted by the award of the Austrian Ecolabel for Sustainable Financial Products. After these two issues, rating agency Standard & Poor’s has confirmed its “A–” rating with a stable outlook.
UNIQA provides compelling, innovative digital services
UNIQA has been relying heavily on digital tools to support its customers for years. One example of this is the myUNIQA app from UNIQA Austria, which has been translating our 24/7 service requirements into the mobile online world since 2018. The mobile customer portal already allows 150,000 users to access information, report claims and submit doctor and medication bills whenever and wherever they wish. This has been particularly helpful during the coronavirus pandemic: the app was accessed more than 2.1 million times in 2020 alone. The offer in 2020 of medical consultation by video via smartphone, tablet or computer was also very well received: since right after the start of the first lockdown in March 2020, we have been offering all customers who have health insurance including the supplementary Akut-Versorgt (acute care) product the option of remote medical care – regardless of their location and with no long waiting times for appointments.
UNIQA acquires AXA subsidiaries in CEE:
ascent to the Top 5
Around five million customers, 2,100 employees and €800 million in premiums – these are the key figures from those companies in the French AXA Group in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia which we acquired in 2020 for around €1 billion. The transaction was formally closed on 15 October once all necessary approvals had been granted, and integration of the acquired companies, which fit perfectly into our long-term growth strategy, began immediately. They complement our Group’s existing business with their focus on profitable retail business, a balanced product mix and a solid sales network perfectly. This acquisition strengthens UNIQA’s position in the highly competitive CEE growth markets and makes it the fifth largest provider in the region.
“Stopp Corona” app:
notable contribution from UNIQA Stiftung
The UNIQA Stiftung foundation, the main shareholder of the UNIQA Group with a share of 49 per cent, enabled the development of the “Stopp Corona” app of the Austrian Red Cross through a donation of €2 million immediately following the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis in March 2020. The app has been downloaded around 1.4 million times in total, and has been able to help break chains of infection and protect countless people from becoming infected with over 12,000 alerts.
Sustainability strategy defined, implementation launched
UNIQA also made great progress in 2020 in terms of sustainability and climate protection. We signed the UN Global Compact (UNGC), for instance, and have therefore made a commitment involving consistent compliance with the ten principles of this pact in the areas of human rights, labour standards, environmental protection and anti-corruption. We have also signed the Principles for Sustainable Insurance and the Principles for Responsible Investments of the United Nations and are already taking both sets of rules into account in our new UNIQA 3.0 strategy. In addition to phasing out coal in our investments, we are also committed to continuously reducing our own carbon footprint and showing our progress through transparent disclosure of information and internationally recognised external ratings. We received ratings from the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) agency and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) among others in 2020, achieving a good starting position with ratings of C– and B–, respectively.
Red Cross honours UNIQA:
outstanding humanitarian commitment
The Humanity Award from the Heinrich Treichl Foundation of the Austrian Red Cross 2020 went to UNIQA Stiftung and the UNIQA Group in recognition of the contribution to the “Stopp Corona” app, as well as for the support provided in setting up a stem cell donor database and expanding the defibrillator network in Austria. Our foundation had already contributed significantly to the establishment of the new stem cell donor database of the Red Cross in November 2018, and defibrillators have been installed at around 100 schools as well as other publicly accessible places since 2019 thanks to another donation.
New business models on the rise:
CHERRISK and SanusX
The UNIQA Group made significant progress in 2020 with two new business models, thereby already implementing an important aspect of its new UNIQA 3.0 strategy. Our digital second brand CHERRISK (cherrisk.com) – which offers simple travel, household and casualty insurance online that can be cancelled at any time – is now expanding to Germany following the positive experience in Hungary. With SanusX (sanusx.com) we want to establish ourselves as a holistic healthcare provider that goes beyond the pure insurance business. SanusX launched its first product in response to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases: SanusX Health Shield offers fast, easy and reliable Covid-19 testing to companies at individual locations throughout Austria.