Slimming down effectively
Efficiency increase and cost reduction in Austria
In 2021, we also made gratifying progress in the implementation of our “Fit for the Future” cost programme. It aims at a profound optimisation of our existing business and thus contributes decisively to reducing the total cost ratio in the Group to 25 per cent by 2025.
Taking into account the currently necessary investments in IT and the fulfilment of new regulatory requirements, there is a clear need for cost savings in the ongoing operations of UNIQA in Austria. About two thirds of the planned savings are to come from the area of material costs, one third from reduced personnel costs. The necessary reduction of our staff in Austria was already implemented in full by the end of 2021.
The radius of the fitness programme extends to all business areas and major cost types. The focus is on sales and IT, finance and general administration, the optimisation of our locations throughout Austria and a reduction of external IT and other consulting costs as well as our marketing and sponsoring expenses.
The long-term goal for 2025 is a Group-wide total cost ratio of 25 per cent in relation to premium volume, which means a reduction of 4 percentage points compared to the level of 2020. The underlying streamlining of our organisation, process simplifications, a customer-centric market approach, the simplification and standardisation of our product portfolio and the optimisation of our pricing are, however, not only intended to increase our profitability. They also serve the objective of positioning us as the best service provider and most attractive employer in the industry.
Rapid implementation of measures
A whole bundle of individual measures has been put together to implement this initiative. We have already started on most of them, and many have already been completed. Here are the most important ones:
- By the end of 2021, we were able to fully implement the planned closure of 35 ServiceCentres to optimise our location network. The development of successful field staff into general agencies also proceeded very quickly, increasing the number of general agency locations to 333.
- As planned, we merged the functions of market research, product marketing, product development, pricing, sales and customer management for the customer groups Retail and Corporate into one business area in 2021. This not only offers advantages for customer service, product policy and sales management, but also entails leaner decision-making processes.
- We have also made good progress on the streamlining and modularisation of our product landscape. We are currently working intensively on standardising and automating our products and processes in the areas of property, liability, accident and motor vehicle insurance.
Continued high dynamics at SanusX
SanusX – preventing better together
Through the acquisition of consentiv, the market leader in Austria for mental health, and a 39-per-cent stake in cura domo Holding, which specialises in home nursing and care, SanusX tapped in to two attractive business segments in 2021. The subsidiary founded in April 2020 is driving the development of our Group into a holistic healthcare provider, building on our experience as Austria’s leading healthcare insurer with the LARA network (laboratory, doctor, X-ray, pharmacy) with over 260 partners, around 100 VitalCoaches and five hospitals (PremiQaMed). After the successful market launch of the SanusX Health Shield, which proved to be a quick, simple and reliable product for detecting Covid-19 infections, SanusX also entered the field of corporate mental healthcare and acquired consentiv, Austria’s leading provider in this segment for corporate clients. The common objective: to expand the existing consulting activities and build up smart prevention solutions. Innovation and digitalisation play a central role in this. It is precisely in these important future topics that SanusX also wants to support cura domo, the Austrian market leader in 24-hour home care.