13.1 percent increase in premiums: HanseMerkur continues to be crisis-proof and strong-growing in 2020
Good start to the first quarter of 2021: new business increased by 8.6 percent above the previous year’s result
Gross premium income will rise to just under 2.6 billion euros in 2020. More than 11,000 new fully insured persons in the main business area of healthcare. Customer base grows to 11.3 million. Net return in health and life insurance of 4.3 percent.
- Gross premium income increases by 13.1 percent to almost 2.6 billion euros
- New business production across all sales channels increased by 7.7 percent
- Investment portfolio exceeds EUR 10 billion threshold
- Net return on all investments is listed at 4.2 percent
- Investment income increases by 17.3 percent to EUR 440 million
- Group net income after taxes over 100 million euros for the first time
- Group equity increases to over EUR 800 million
- HanseMerkur’s solvency ratio in Q4 / 2020 is 287 percent
- Cooperation with Tchibo in health and property insurance
- The healthcare business area grows by 5.1 percent to 1,683.6 million euros with over 21,000 new customers / Corona causes additional costs of 22.8 million euros
- Premiums in the risk and old-age provision business area increase by 80.0 percent with strong single-premium business
- The travel and leisure business segment lost 80 million euros or 33.3 percent of the premiums in the crisis year for tourism and closed at the level of 2013
- HanseMerkur Reiseversicherung AG and tourVERS remain reliable partners in insolvency insurance / claims expenses due to corona: 10.5 million euros
- Asset management subsidiary HanseMerkur Trust AG (HMT) manages assets of 11.2 billion euros
- Investments by the real estate subsidiary HanseMerkur Grundvermögen AG (HMG) in office and residential properties reach EUR 3.6 billion
- HMT and HMG are making assets increasingly sustainable and signing Principles for Responsible Investment / HanseMerkur Group developing sustainability strategy
- Portfolio grows by 500,000 policyholders to 11.3 million customers
- HanseMerkur Group creates 60 new jobs and waives operational dismissals until 2023 / works agreement “Outside work” concluded
- First quarter of 2021: new business, at 8.6 percent, again increased above the previous year’s figure
Hamburg, April 20, 2021. Even in the first year of the pandemic, the HanseMerkur Group was crisis-proof and showing strong growth. The gross premium income rose by 13.1 percent (industry: + 1.2%) or EUR 298.7 million to EUR 2,587.2 million. Thanks to a transformation towards digital and hybrid forms of insurance consulting and brokerage and the introduction of the online tool Consulting Navigator, multi-channel sales increased new business by 7.7 percent for broker sales as well. This led to above-average increases in the healthcare (+ 5.1%) and risk and old-age provision (+ 80.0%). The consumer goods and trading company Tchibo was also won as a new sales partner. The product range on tchibo.de ranges from dental and other supplementary health insurance to property insurance and special solutions for pets. In addition to the premium income, HanseMerkur was also able to further strengthen its financial position. The unconsolidated net income for the year after taxes, at EUR 113.2 million, exceeded the EUR 100 million threshold for the first time. The group equity also reached a new high of EUR 804.0 million with a plus of 16.6 percent.
“Even in the first Corona year, our company is crisis-proof and showing strong growth,” said Eberhard Sautter, CEO of HanseMerkur, at the online balance sheet press conference in Hamburg. “With the decision to hedge the assets as early as February 2020, it was possible to achieve a net return in health and life insurance that was above the market average. Flanked by low administrative and administrative costs, income and assets were further strengthened. Nevertheless, the uncertainty was seldom as great as in the second year of the pandemic”, Sautter continued. “Unfortunately, even one year after the outbreak of the infection, we are far deeper in the crisis than assumed at the beginning of the year. This situation, coupled with the political uncertainties in the federal election year, makes it difficult for us to make a valid forecast for the year 2021. Nevertheless, we are sticking to our medium-term goal of sustainable premium income of over 3 billion euros with a stable annual surplus after taxes of over 100 million euros and a ranking among the top 10 companies in private health insurance (PKV) on the 150th anniversary of HanseMerkur in the year 2025 ”, said the CEO.
The portfolio of investments (€ 11,088.4 million) exceeded the € 10 billion threshold for the first time. The net return on investments reached a new record at 4.2 percent. The investment result increased also by 17.3 percent to EUR 439.7 million. The financial strength of the HanseMerkur Group (SCR rate Q4 / 2020: 287%) is also reflected in the good solvency ratios of the individual companies such as HanseMerkur Krankenversicherung AG with 516 percent.
In the main business area of healthcare, premium income rose by 5.1 percent (industry: + 3.8%) to 1,683.6 million euros. Once again, HanseMerkur recorded the second-highest net increase in private health insurance with over 11,000 new fully insured persons. In addition, there were over 10,000 new customers in the supplementary insurance. In the risk and old-age provision business area, premium income increased significantly by 80.0 percent (sector: -0.4%) due to the significant increase in single premiums (+ € 296.9 million) and stood at € 663.4 million. HanseMerkur, as a market leader in the tourist insurance industry, was also badly affected by the unprecedented slump in the travel industry. As a result, premium income in the Travel and Leisure business segment fell by 33.3 percent to 159.7 million euros due to the corona, which corresponds to the level of 2013. Despite claims expenditure of 10.5 million euros in insolvency insurance, HanseMerkur and the tourVERS want to continue to support their tourist partners as partners. In the property and casualty business segment, premium growth of 2.3 percent (industry: 2.1%) and premium income of EUR 80.5 million were achieved. In the Asset Management division, HanseMerkur Trust AG managed assets of 11.2 billion euros. The real estate subsidiary HanseMerkur Grundbesitz AG has invested more than 3.6 billion euros in residential and office properties since it was founded in 2014, of which 1.1 billion euros in 2020 alone.
HanseMerkur’s customer base rose by around 500,000 to 11.3 million insured persons. At the end of 2020, the HanseMerkur Group employed 2,237 office and field staff as well as full-time agents. This corresponds to an increase in staff of 60 positions in the year under review. In order to send a signal to the workforce regarding continuity, reliability and future prospects, especially in uncertain times, the management and labour council have extended the “Alliance for Work and Employment”. This means that there will be no redundancies for operational reasons until 2023. In addition, the increasing desire of employees for more flexible working hours and locations was met. The “company agreement for extra-company work” as a set of rules for teleworking and mobile working now offers better options for reconciling work and family.
HanseMerkur develops sustainability strategy
Responsible entrepreneurial action is part of the DNA of HanseMerkur as a mutual insurance association, which is committed to the code of the honorable businessman and focuses on the community spirit through the hand in hand guiding principle of the company. As a Good Corporate Citizen, in 2021, for the 40th year already, by awarding the oldest German social award, the company supports and honors clubs and initiatives that do outstanding work in the field of child and youth protection. The HanseMerkur Prize for Child Protection was given to five winners nationwide in 2020 in accordance with the AHA rules due to corona and was later posted on the web as an overall award in the form of a nearly one-hour film (“Pandemic Edition”). The successful work as a reliable partner for families in precarious life situations is also reflected in market research. In the “Social Score”, HanseMerkur was chosen in a ranking of the “200 most sustainable companies in Germany” with a value of 88.9 (out of 100) among the top 3 companies in the insurance industry (stern / Statista, 12/2020).
However, it is not only its social commitment that shapes the reliable management of HanseMerkur, as the Sustainability Report 2020, which will appear in June and which will show 114 pages 20 sustainability topics highlighted in different fields of action. In particular, the group’s asset managers, HanseMerkur Trust AG (HMT) and HanseMerkur Grundvermögen AG (HMG) are driving the development towards a more sustainable transformation. Both have signed the six United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) and thus made a commitment to a transparently verifiable sustainability orientation. Since ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) criteria increasingly influence the intrinsic value of financial commitments, HMT has launched ESG special and retail funds. The ESG retail funds are committed to the Eurosif transparency code and were awarded the sustainability seal of the Forum for Sustainable Investments (FNG), the leading quality standard for sustainable finance in the German financial market, in the year under review. HanseMerkur Trust AG obtains the sustainability data on a daily basis from MSCI ESG, one of the leading ESG rating agencies. The aim of HMT and HMG is to support their stakeholders under the motto “Best in Transition” in helping to shape the change in society and the real economy towards a low-carbon and resource-saving future.
Under this premise, a sustainability process was set up for the entire insurance group in 2020 that sees dynamic change as an opportunity, offers space for innovation and creates added value for everyone. By establishing an explicit sustainability strategy, the ESG criteria of HanseMerkur are to be consistently further developed and deepened along the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Always with the goal of a more sustainable way of life, hand in hand with customers, partners and employees.
Business development January – March 2021
New business production across all sales channels increased by 8.6 percent in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the very good previous year’s result. In the main business area of healthcare, the premium adjustment of 3.4 percent over the total portfolio was extremely moderate in a sector comparison. The premium income rose by 5.3 percent, not least due to the acquisition of over 3,000 new fully insured persons. The additional dental tariffs of HanseMerkur Krankenversicherung AG (HMK) and the online subsidiary BD24 Berlin Direkt Versicherung AG (BD24) were rated by Stiftung Warentest (4/2021) as the test winner for the cheapest with the best offers (HMK) and the industry leader for the best Tariffs (BD24) selected. The product module EZ from HanseMerkur Kranken has been at the top of the tested private health insurance market with 244 tariff offers for the 16th year since its introduction. In the risk and old-age provision business area, the profit participation remained stable at 2.1 percent for the fifth year in a row. New business redeemed rose by 47.2 percent from 4,200 contracts to 6,181 contracts, primarily for traditional annuity insurance. In a current Handelsblatt / Assekurata quality rating (April 14, 2021) over one, three and five year(s), HanseMerkur scored “very good” in the categories of return, risk, responsiveness and risk reward for fund-linked pension insurance. The scope of the “Corona travel protection” has been increased again in the Travel and Leisure segment. It now also takes effect if a travel warning applies to the respective destination country at the start of the journey. HanseMerkur Reiseversicherung AG recorded a premium erosion of 42.9 percent due to the corona. The online travel insurer BD24 was further positioned as a multi-line insurer: The service portfolio was expanded to include three additional dental tariffs as well as a cat surgery and health insurance. In the property and casualty business area, the premiums increased 9.2 percent. A significant increase in premiums was recorded in the property and motor vehicle sectors. A new moped and e-scooter insurance was introduced, which also covers damage to the battery in bicycles with electric drives, e-scooters and e-scooters. And in the ASCORE scoring “Pet owner liability dog”, HanseMerkur received the best possible rating “Outstanding” (4/2021).