Now more than ever: living better together
Inspiring coaches at the side of our customers
Especially in challenging times, trust and security become increasingly important. This means the claim that our UNIQA 3.0 strategic programme formulates about our attitude towards our customers applies now, more than ever: As inspiring coaches, we want to be reliable companions to our customers and help them improve their lives and take the responsibility into their own hands. We do this better than anyone else, which is why we aspire to be the leading service provider in our industry.
In order to meet this high standard, we have completely restructured our customer service and replaced the previous business line structure with the customer segments Retail, Banking, and Corporate and Affinity. This enables us to address the individual customer groups in a much more focused manner across the boundaries of product lines and, in addition to further increasing customer satisfaction, should also lead to a growth in premiums. Besides the continuous strength of the UNIQA brand – the strongest insurance brand in Austria – an attractive and easy-to-understand product portfolio, transparent pricing, efficient processes, cross-border cooperation, customer-specific affinity programmes and a wide range of digital tools and services form the basis for this.
An essential building block for all of this is the ongoing digitalisation of our business overall, which we have been working on consistently since 2016 – supported by massive investments. The focus is on the redesign of our business model, including all necessary IT systems, as well as digital innovations.
Market leader in Austria, further growth in CEE
From a regional perspective, we are striving to secure and expand our strong market position in Austria, especially in the area of health insurance, to strengthen profitability in property and casualty insurance and to stabilise the portfolio in life insurance. The development into a holistic healthcare provider driven by our start-up SanusX and Mavie Holding, founded in 2022, supports this course especially in the diverse healthcare market.
In CEE, on the other hand, strengthened by the acquisition of the former AXA companies in Poland, Czechia and Slovakia, we intend to continue to make targeted use of the great potential offered by the ongoing EU convergence and the region’s low insurance density. In doing so, we are relying on a radical transformation of our business model through digitalisation, standardisation, greater transparency, hybrid offers for different channels, as well as cross-border customer-focused services. While we are building on an all-lines approach in our four core CEE markets of Czechia, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, we are taking a more selective approach in the remaining CEE markets.
Depending on the customer segment, the fundamental reorientation of our market access results in different detailed strategies and corresponding measures. We initiated many of these in 2021 and are pushing ahead at full speed in 2022.
Retail: Outstanding customer journey and simple products
An excellent customer experience and a clearly understandable product architecture are our top priorities and objectives in the Retail segment. Customers want individualisation, transparency and flexibility, and we are responding to this by streamlining and modularising our product portfolio, but also with dynamic pricing based on individual customer yield ratings. This also helps us harmonise our insurance portfolio, where we are gradually analysing profitability in all business lines. At the same time, we have optimised our nationwide presence in Austria by expanding our network of general agencies. We support their sales activities with a modern, uniform – location-based but customisable – new website.
In order to be able to offer our customers holistic solutions for different topics, we consciously regard relevant living environments as “ecosystems”. Following the health ecosystem, in which we have already successfully diversified the Group-wide service spectrum under the umbrella of Mavie Holding, we are currently in the process of establishing the topic of living as its own ecosystem. In 2022, for example, we were able to initiate a partnership with the online marketplace WILLHABEN in Austria. Under the name “Rudi” (short for “Rund-um-deine-Immobilie”, meaning “all about your property”), we are currently developing our own online platform for services related to the residential living environment: from flat hunting through moving, handyman and cleaning services to babysitting and dog sitting, it will create added value for our customers and better sales opportunities for us.
In all of this, progressive digitalisation is changing the traditional role of sales. One example is the UNIQA Customer Platform (UCP), which ensures comprehensive support with a 360-degree perspective in line with our seamless omni-channel strategy. Available 24/7, this makes it easier for customers to access our services and for us to administer them thanks to various self-service features. The introduction of electronic signatures via smartphones has prompted significant progress in this area; we have already received more than 250,000 insurance applications digitally using this method.
Another highly popular digital offering is the myUNIQA app, which our customers can use at any time to call up information, report claims or submit medical and medication bills. With a design made even clearer in 2021 and features constantly being updated, the app is already used regularly by 500,000 customers. Our new benefits and customer loyalty programme myUNIQA plus also proved to be very successful, doubling the number of its users to 250,000 in 2022, its second year of operation. Many of these belong to the younger generation. With this innovative new tool, we are setting new standards for increasing customer loyalty, improving efficiency and reducing complexity.
We are also using artificial intelligence in claims processing, for example with the new “digital claim handler” introduced in 2021, which massively speeds up the processing of claims. A completely new, disruptive concept in this area is CHERRISK, the purely app-based sales platform for simple travel, household and casualty insurance that can be cancelled at any time and allows cross-border offers without a physical presence. Following a successful pilot project in Hungary and market entry in Germany, this platform is now being rolled out under the UNIQA brand in other markets such as Romania.
Outstanding customer journey and simple products
- Individualisation, transparency, flexibility
- Modularisation of the product portfolio
- Health and housing as “ecosystems”
- Digitalisation and omni-channel strategy in sales
Banking: Market expansion and digitalisation
With generally closer cooperation as a basis, we would like to further strengthen the sale of our products via partner banks and increase market penetration in this area. The focus is on standard products: In Austria, we mainly offer property insurance through this channel; In CEE, we also offer life insurance and bundled products as collateral for loans. As in the Retail segment, this means we need to simplify our product portfolio and adapt to changing customer needs. In this customer segment as well, the model of holistic ecosystems should also ensure that we can provide all-round support.
We are striving for increased digitalisation here, too, as in the other customer segments. In both Austria and CEE, we rely here on standardised digital sales platforms such as the UNIQA Customer Platform (UCP), from which we jointly offer financial services from a single source. The aim is to enhance our presence further through apps and other solutions, such as the sale of standardised products over the phone. A successful example of this during the reporting period was a project by Tatra banka involving casualty insurance policies.
At the same time, we are also working on improving the customer journey in this segment, especially in CEE, and with this in mind we have launched a pilot project in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Bulgaria under the title “SEE5”: It is aimed at harmonising products, processes and the IT landscape on a regional level in order to improve both customer convenience and efficiency. This will not only put the participating, individually relatively small companies a better position in the market, which will open up growth potential for them, but it will also reduce complexity and thus have a positive effect on the customer journey and profitability.
Market expansion and digitalisation
- Financial services from a single source
- Simplified product portfolio
- Standardised digital sales platforms
Corporate and Affinity: Innovative services and sales channels
The way we reach our corporate customers is differentiated by customised solutions and new approaches in sales. While we are increasingly positioning ourselves as a local insurance company here in Austria, the focus in CEE is on risk engineering. We are placing more and more emphasis on ESG-compliant product development and taking ESG criteria into consideration in underwriting. In parallel, we are pushing ahead with the development of “green” products.
To target our service even more effectively, we optimised our operating model for commercial customers during the reporting period and divided our products into four clusters according to customer size and degree of standardisation. With the aim of offering added value as an “insurer on the spot”, we have also strengthened our local presence and given our experts intensive training so that they can assess risks directly on the customers’ premises and get them insured immediately. Our advisers have a risk engineering app at their disposal to help them perform this “real-time assessment”.
In the Corporate and Affinity segment, we are focusing on property insurance in both Austria and CEE, as well as on tailored affinity programmes – individual offers for our customers or their employees to support them in matters relating to health and healthcare. Employee benefits in health, accident and life insurance are one example of this. Here, too, our subsidiaries SanusX and Mavie play an important role with innovative concepts for corporate health solutions. Mavie is already available to 150 companies with 120,000 employees, including such renowned names as IKEA and REWE, offering customer-centred solutions for diagnostics, physical and mental health as well as nutrition (see also "Mavie – On the way to being a holistic healthcare provider" for more information). At the turn of the year from 2022 to 2023, a dedicated Mavie portal was also launched, offering versatile support and practical tips for employees.
With the support of a Group-wide digital platform for underwriting, sales and risk management, we also rely on automation and digitalisation in our standard business with corporate customers. By giving this platform access to a central “product factory”, we are consolidating our strengths and creating synergies as a basis for further improving our service quality and speed.
The advancing digitalisation is also changing our business itself: For example, we are seeing a significant increase in demand for cyber insurance policies, especially in Austria, and have developed attractive solutions for this. Advances in digital networking also create the possibility of usage-based tariffs, the automated application of which we are currently examining. Likewise, thanks to sensor technology and the Internet of Things, data-driven prevention is becoming an interesting option – especially for industrial customers.
As in the other customer segments, we are also focusing on harmonising our insurance portfolio in the Corporate and Affinity segment so that we can act more efficiently and in a more targeted way and ultimately increase our earning power. To do this, we examined all lines of business one step at a time, starting with property and casualty insurance.
Innovative services and sales channels
- Risk engineering
- Affinity programmes for customers and employees
- Focus on cyber insurance
- Premiums based on use
Excellent processes, first-class data
As far as our internal operations are concerned, we are working constantly and intensively in Austria and CEE to improve our production and efficiency. This includes increasing the cross-policy and automation rate in the application process and in claims settlement as well as ongoing efficiency improvements and cost reductions, for example through consistent process simplification. The aim is to implement the entire processing of an insurance contract – from the application to any necessary benefits – in an automatic and digital workflow.
As a basis for this, we are continuously investing in the modernisation of our IT infrastructure and our core system (UNIQA Insurance Platform, UIP), our customer platform (UNIQA Customer Platform, UCP) and other central systems. In this context, we are also placing an important emphasis on IT security and cybersecurity in order to live up to this trust in us as an insurance company.
Rebranding and cultural programme
Since the new claim of UNIQA 3.0 should also manifest itself in our external corporate image, we initiated a rebranding for the entire Group in 2021. Apart from an update of our corporate design, this also included a further development of our claim – it is now “living better together” – as well as the development and launch of a new image campaign.
Alongside this, we launched a culture programme to introduce our corporate culture to the concept of inspiring coaches. Conceived and coordinated by the Culture Office established in 2021, considerable progress was made in rolling out this programme in 2022. The aim is to familiarise our employees with our vision, our strategy and our new corporate culture, to spur them into action and to bring them on board on our transformation journey. All kinds of information events and workshops across all areas of the company have been helping to achieve this goal and continue to do so. We will carry on with this process in 2023, too, and set another significant milestone with events like the Inspiration Festival.