Börse Express – Course set for the future: Merkur Versicherung continues to grow in 2021

  • Above the market level: Merkur closes the year 2021 with a premium increase of 3.7 percent and increases sales to a total of 561 million euros
  • Sustainable growth: Merkur Versicherung remains the second largest private health insurer in Austria and continues to gain market share
  • Closer to the customer: With a world of modular products, a focus on digitization, and investments in people and IT, Merkur is a pioneer in private health insurance
  • With the acquisition of Nürnberger Versicherung Austria, Merkur sets the strategic course for the future and becomes the seventh largest insurance provider

The year 2021 was a year of opportunity and confidence for Grazer Merkur Versicherung. Driven by the internal cohesion of the team and the strength of the resulting community. In an era that was still characterized by a lack of security and little predictability, traditional insurance continues its successful course:
Merkur Versicherung AG will grow faster than the market in 2021 with premium growth of 3.7 percent, premiums earned across all lines will rise to €561 million. Profit before tax (EGT) is a solid €6.3 million.

Ingo Hofmann, CEO of Merkur Versicherung: “For us as Merkur, 2021 was a year of opportunities and not of challenges. We took this resolution as a team and successfully implemented it together. We believed that things were possible with the necessary confidence and initiated changes. Each on their own, all as part of a team. That’s what makes success sustainable.”

Gained market share in health insurance

In health insurance, the core division of Merkur Versicherung, continued the positive development of the previous year. Premiums increased above the market level (+3.7 percent) by 4.76 percent to 468.4 million euros. The Graz-based group of companies is thus expanding its market share to 18.31 percent and remains by far the second largest private health insurer in Austria.

In the property insurance segment, the volume of premiums increased by 0.55 percent to 21.4 million euros. Accident insurance registered a slight fall of 0.77 percent. In total, premiums in this segment amount to 28.9 million euros.

Industry-wide customer reluctance in life insurance continues and due to the difficult market environment and the zero interest rate policy that will prevail in 2021, will result in premium volume in life insurance drop 2.89 percent to EUR 42.3 million.

The capital surplus, which is important under Solvency II, is extremely stable at an SCR ratio of 204 percent or €604 million of eligible own funds and could increase compared to the previous year.

Merkur Group with solid development

Merkur is also achieving satisfactory growth in South East Europe:
With its subsidiaries in Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, Merkur generates a premium volume of 93.7 million and is fast approaching the 100 million euro mark. Slovenia is the one that grows the most: income from premiums increases by 4.4 percent.

In the group as a whole, Merkur Versicherung has earned premiums of €651.4 million in 2021, an increase of 3.43% compared to the previous year. Foreign affiliates in Southeastern Europe account for 14.39 percent. At the balance sheet date, the Group obtained a profit before taxes (EGT) of 14 million euros.

Change of perspective, proximity to the client and investments for the future

If you focus on people, you have to change your perspective. This led Merkur Versicherung to rethink the products as well. In the course of 2021, for example, a world of modular products in health insurance and accident insurance was presented, which is based on tailor-made solutions. In an Amazonized world, where needs and life situations are dynamically changing, customers can now find their individual protection in products that help shape.

Investments in digital infrastructure, an optimized website and new mobile options further enhance the customer journey and ensure greater efficiency and a better customer experience. Furthermore, Merkur Versicherung made a clear statement as an employer with more than 100 new hires last year. “Because yesterday we thought about tomorrow, today we can offer our employees, customers and partners the security and confidence they expect from us. We are determined to continue on this path”, adds Ingo Hofmann.

road to personal insurance

The next strategic milestone on the path to comprehensive personal insurance was the acquisition of Nürnberger Versicherung Österreich, which closed 2021 with a premium volume of €110.4 million. After official approval at the beginning of April 2022, the acquisition of 100 percent of the shares of Nürnberger Versicherung AG Austria by Grazer Merkur Versicherung AG was officially completed. This makes Merkur Versicherung the seventh largest insurance provider in the country.

The Salzburg location becomes the life insurance hub within the Merkur Group: with the clear goal of developing products and tailoring them to specific countries. In future, the life insurance business in Austria will be grouped under Merkur Lebensversicherung AG.

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