Sustainable growth in Austria and CEE
More than 16 million customers in Austria and Central Europe trust the UNIQA Group’s first-class service.
We can look back on more than 200 years of tradition in the insurance business in our domestic market of Austria, and we are one of the leading providers in our industry here. We have also strengthened our market position significantly in Central Europe in recent years through the integration of the former AXA companies in Poland, Slovakia and Czechia. The UNIQA Group will continue to pursue a consistent course for growth in the future despite the economic challenges.
Austria: Strong position in the insurance and healthcare markets
Our healthy market position in Austria is ensured by innovative products, a powerful sales force and the firmly established UNIQA and Raiffeisen brands. Thanks to our many years of experience in the insurance business, we are now the second largest Austrian insurer with a market share of around 21 per cent, and we have been the market leader in private health insurance for many years. We support 3.7 million customers in Austria, either directly or through our banking and sales partner, Raiffeisen. We plan to further expand our business over the next few years in a targeted manner, particularly in the attractive growth market of the healthcare sector.
The comparatively solid economic development in Austria over many years and a prudent regulator also open up good prospects for the future. This is because there is still potential in the Austrian insurance market, with Austrians currently spending an average of €2,081 on insurance each year. This is still relatively low compared with other western European countries, especially given the high standard of living in Austria.
CEE: Significant catch-up potential in insurance density
The markets in Central and Eastern Europe are currently still a long way from insurance expenditure at this level. With an average annual premium of €240 per capita (excluding Russia), CEE contributes a total of around 40 per cent to UNIQA Group premiums following the integration of the AXA companies in Poland, Slovakia and Czechia. Yet the region is catching up: The average premium per capita is already around €430 in the more developed Central European insurance markets of Poland, Slovakia, Czechia and Hungary, which we have defined as our second core market, and this trend is on the rise.
For UNIQA this opens up attractive potential: With around 12.3 million people, three quarters of our customers already live in CEE. This region, which is home to around 154 million people, has been experiencing a remarkable economic upswing for years. Although Covid-19 also caused a noticeable economic slump here as well. However, the insurance markets in CEE were able to recover from this quickly and already show significant premium growth again in 2021 as well as in 2022.
Despite difficult economic conditions, characterised among other things by double-digit inflation rates and a fall in real wages, the process of convergence in CEE is not yet complete, and all experts believe that growth rates in the region will continue to be significantly higher than those in the eurozone. In the long term, we therefore expect a continuous increase in insurance density over the coming decades, despite the current challenges.
This is because with growing prosperity, insurance for apartments and homes as well as personal protection products, such as accident and health insurance, are gaining more ground in addition to motor vehicle liability insurance, which traditionally represents the largest volume in CEE.
In order to exploit this growth potential, we are also relying on a strong sales force and on our well-established partnership with Raiffeisen in CEE, with the Addiko Group in the Balkans, and mBank in Poland.
The targets set for 2025 under UNIQA 3.0 in relation to our most important KPIs are very concrete and ambitious: they concern premium growth (approx. 3 per cent p.a.), the combined ratio in property and casualty insurance (approx. 93 per cent), the total cost ratio (approx. 25 per cent), the return on equity (>9 per cent), the solvency ratio (>170 per cent) and customer satisfaction (4.5 stars out of 5). This should enable us to earn our cost of capital on a sustainable basis. At the same time, it allows us to pay attractive dividends and invest in the future – favourable both for our company’s employees and customers as well as for its shareholders. We have made further measurable progress in each area in 2022.