HanseMerkur 2018: Highest contribution in the company’s history

  • Premium income in health insurance rises to more than € 1.5 billion / For the first time, more than 10 million insured customers / sustained premium of € 2 billion premium mark
  • Current contributions increase significantly by 4.4 percent, above the industry average
  • Historically highest gross premium income of 2,049.6 million euros
  • Profit before taxes, RfB and SchwaRü at a record level of EUR 367.3 million
  • Net income after taxes at 82.8 million euros
  • Group equity increases by 16.3 percent to EUR 582.3 million
  • The investment portfolio is approaching the 9 billion euro threshold
  • HanseMerkur Group with above-average solvency ratio of 343 percent
  • Healthcare and Nursing business area grew by 5.3 percent to 1,540.5 million euros, gaining over 22,000 new customers
  • Property and Casualty business area increased by 11.5 percent
  • Internationalization strategy: HanseMerkur International AG starts in Switzerland
  • Inventory grows by 500,000 insured to 10.4 million customers
  • Employees receive profit sharing of 2,500 euros
  • App-based evolvement of the e-health strategy in health insurance: from payroll to digital health services
  • New brand image puts VVaG community ideas in the spotlight / name recognition achieved with a peak of 79 percent
  • Months January to May 2019: Growth in all lines of between one and five percent / HanseMerkur Reiseversicherung awarded the Austrian consumer study title for the third time as test winner in the Alpine republic
  • Targets 2019: Continuation of the profitable growth strategy in all business areas with anticipated premium income of more than 2.2 billion euros / Purchases, takeovers and in-depth cooperation are regularly audited

Hamburg, July 2, 2019. The HanseMerkur Group continued its sustainable and profitable growth course in 2018 as well. At 4.4%, regular premiums were well above the industry average (+ 1.7%). Gross premium income reached the highest level in the company’s history and increased by € 78.5 million to € 2,049.6 million. Thus, the contribution target of 2 billion euros was overcome in the long term. A historical result of 367.3 million euros was also achieved in the gross profit before taxes, provision for premium refunds (RfB) and equalization reserve (SchwaRü), which rose by 3.7 percent in the year under review. Net income after taxes amounted to 82.8 million euros. At a record level, the consolidated equity, which is around, is also listed 16.3 percent to 582.3 million euros could be increased. The investment portfolio (€ 8,958.7 million) is approaching the € 9 billion threshold. The net return on investments was 3.5 percent. The financial strength of the HanseMerkur Group (SCR ratio: 343%) is also reflected in the very good solvency ratios of the individual companies – such as HanseMerkur Krankenversicherung AG with 574 percent.

In the core health and care business, premium income increased by 5.3 percent (sector: + 1.8%). With more than 22,000 new customers – including more than 8,000 fully insured persons – HanseMerkur recorded a significant net addition to private health insurance for the 17th year in succession. The conservative strategy, which sets lasting financial strength in the low interest rate environment ahead of short-term sales growth, was also maintained in the Risk and Pensions business unit in 2018. Here, the booked premium income fell by 3.4 percent to 213.6 million euros. In the Travel and Leisure segment, premiums of EUR 224.3 million (-0.1%) remained at the previous year’s level. In the property-casualty business unit, premium growth of 11.5 percent (sector: + 3.3%) and premium income of 75.9 million euros were achieved. The Asset Management business unit closed assets under management (AuM) with EUR 1.8 billion for third-party investors.

As a major player in the German travel insurance market, HanseMerkur continued its internationalization strategy following its market entry in Austria (2012) and Poland (2015) in Switzerland during the year under review. HanseMerkur International AG operates from Vaduz and can now conclude travel insurance contracts in the Confederation directly and without Fronter, which opens up interesting business prospects in the DACH region. The Travel and Leisure segment already generates contributions of more than 24 million euros through its international business.

HanseMerkur’s customer base increased by around 500,000 to 10.4 million insured persons, more than doubling over the last 10 years. In-house staff were involved in the company’s success in April 2019 thanks to the highest single payment of € 2,500 so far in the year under review. At the end of 2018, the HanseMerkur Group employed 2,140 people in the field and in the field as well as full-time agents. With the reconciliation of work, family and private life, a central concern of the personnel strategy, the HanseMerkur 2018 successfully passed the third certification of the audit berufundfamilie under the patronage of the Federal Ministry for family, seniors and youth and may carry the certificate now permanently.

In 2018, HanseMerkur Krankenversicherung AG pushed ahead with its e-health strategy for the further development of app-based health services such as billing app, online doctor or telemedicine cardiac patient care. In addition, HanseMerkur is the only private health insurance company to be a founding member of the “Forum Zukunftsmedizin”, a nationwide network for personalized data medicine from specialists, future thinkers and opinion leaders in all areas of the healthcare industry.

In the year under review, the brand strategy of HanseMerkur was visually translated again. The new logo puts even more emphasis on the mutual thinking of a mutual insurance association and symbolizes an open community that shakes hands with everyone. The new corporate design dispenses with the addition of the “insurance group”, which was no longer necessary with a rise in brand awareness in 2018 to around 80 percent.

Business Development January – May 2019
The first five months of 2019 were characterized by premium growth of 5.4 percent in HanseMerkur Krankenversicherung AG with over 2,000 new fully insured persons. In HanseMerkur Reiseversicherung AG, premiums rose by 4.5 per cent, and by 4.3 per cent in HanseMerkur in general. There was a slight premium growth of 0.8 percent in HanseMerkur Leben, while new business increased by 12.5 percent. The HanseMerkur Travel Insurance (HMR) in Austria was awarded for the third time in June 2019 as a test winner in premiums and performance by the Austrian Association for Consumer Studies (ÖGSV), the business magazine trend and the tariff comparison portal durchblicker.at. HM Trust AG has launched three sustainable mutual funds with a volume of EUR 53 million. And the HanseMerkur Group presented its first independent Sustainability Report for 2018, which has identified 20 sustainability topics in various fields of action on 100 pages.

Goals and outlook for the financial year 2019
HanseMerkur is known for its sustained premium stability in the private health insurance segment, which is of particular importance to its customers. By reaffirming that health insurance Unisextarife will not be affected by any adjustment by 1 January 2021, this competitive advantage will be reaffirmed. In order to make better use of the market potential in the salaried and civil servants segment, new full insurance tariffs will be launched on the market this year. As the current debates about the future of retirement provision show that there is a great need for additional private protection, HanseMerkur will again be more involved in the risk and retirement provision business after years of restraint in specific segments. Following the founding of HanseMerkur International AG, the focus is on developing the travel insurance market in Switzerland (tourism, business, selected composite products) in order to repeat the success story of HMR from Austria among the Confederates. As dogs, not least for older people demonstrably improve the mental and physical health with a higher quality of life, the HanseMerkur takes into account the demographic development in this segment and makes friends of four-legged beyond their award-winning dog owner liability insurance to 1 July 2019 by a dog -OP insurance with two product lines another offer. At the center of all activities in 2019 is the profitable growth with a contribution target of more than 2.2 billion euros. In addition to organic growth, HanseMerkur continues to be well prepared for acquisitions and acquisitions. The medium-term goal of a sustainable premium income of more than € 3 billion for the 150th anniversary of the HanseMerkur in 2025 is maintained.

Business Development

In the health and long-term care business, premium income in direct business (saG) increased by € 77.8 million or 5.3 percent (sector: + 1.8%) to € 1,540.5 million, the first time it exceeded 1.5 Billion euros.

At the HanseMerkur Krankenversicherung AG (HMK), premium income from direct business increased by 5.1 percent to EUR 1,312.1 million. Thanks to a significant contribution of all sales channels to the development of new business, net addition to natural persons in full medical expenses insurance amounted to 8,076. In addition, 14,191 customers were added to the supplementary insurance. At the end of 2018, there were 1,495,468 health insurances with HanseMerkur, of which 257,099 in full insurance and 1,238,369 in additional protection. In the year under review, HMK’s equity was increased by € 22.0 million to € 216.5 million. The equity ratio increased to 16.5 percent (2017: 15.6 percent). A net return on investments of 3.7 percent was achieved. The continued decline in the complaints rate is pleasing despite the steadily rising number of insureds. In the ten-year comparison, the number of registered BaFin submissions in the year under review is at a historic low of 22 (2017: 28).

Three other companies are part of the Health and Care business segment.

HanseMerkur Speziale Krankenversicherung AG was able to gain a further 234,895 customers in cooperation with Fielmann AG through its eyewear insurance offered in Germany and Austria. At the end of 2018, 7,232,715 customers had taken out at least one of these insurance policies for the protection of the ametropia. HanseMerkur has more than 8.4 million contracts. Premium income increased by 4.0 percent to 159.3 million euros.

The HanseMerkur Krankenversicherung auf Gegenseitigkeit as the sole shareholder at the head of the group offers all members of the association an independent accident hospital daily allowance. Correspondingly secured at the end of 2018 10,692 people. The contribution income amounted to 485,797 euros.

Advigon Versicherung AG, Vaduz, a wholly-owned subsidiary of HanseMerkur Holding AG, supplemented its product range during the year under review. self-managed travel abroad health insurance and new dental supplement products for long-standing existing customers. Premium income in direct business amounted to 68.6 million euros.

Business area Risk and Pensions

At HanseMerkur Lebensversicherung AG (HML), the focus continued to be on the conservative strategy “security against growth”, as financial strength in the low interest rate environment is more important than short-term revenue growth. A high degree of reliability in dealing with customer funds was confirmed to HML as test winner in the Finsinger rating 2018 of the Business Week (41/2018). In a sector comparison of 61 market participants, the realistic interest rate on investments, the closing, management and payout ratios were assessed, which resulted in a strong above-average performance for the customers of HanseMerkur. The solvency ratio of HML was 425 percent and 331 percent without transitional provisions or volatility adjustments, using transitional measures. HML offered its clients a total return of 2.1 percent. After taking into account the additional interest reserve, the average collectively agreed interest rate is 1.84 percent.

The total insurance portfolio, measured by the sum insured, decreased by € 601.5 million to € 13,327.1 million. New business on redeemed contracts fell by 9.3 per cent to 12,153 as well as the associated current annual premium by 7.5 per cent to 10.5 million euros. The booked premium income fell in the financial year by 7.5 million euros or 3.4 percent to 213.6 million euros.

In the Travel and Leisure segment, premium income of EUR 224.3 million (-0.1%) remained at the level of 2017. As a large German travel insurer, HanseMerkur Reiseversicherung AG was able to reduce its premium income by 0.9 percent to EUR 203.3 million Million and stabilize above the 200 million euro mark for the second year in a row. At EUR 100.3 million, the largest share of the business volume was accounted for by the Travel Cancellation Division, followed by the Travel Agencies division with EUR 90.1 million. BD24 Berlin Direkt Versicherung AG recorded premium income of EUR 21.0 million as an international travel insurer in online sales.

The premiums written by HanseMerkur Allgemeine Versicherung AG in the Property and Casualty business area increased by 11.5 percent (sector: + 3.3%) to EUR 75.9 million. Contributions accounted for 29% each of the accident and casualty business, followed by motor insurance (26%) and property insurance (16%). The combined ratio in saG was 91.8 percent (sector: 96%). A success story is the revised in 2009 and rated by softfair with the quality rating “VERY GOOD” liability insurance for dog owners. At the end of 2018, over 200,000 four-legged friends were covered at HanseMerkur.

The Asset Management business segment comprises HM Trust AG (HMT), a service provider specializing in asset management, and HanseMerkur Grundvermögen AG (HMG), which bundles the real estate activities of HanseMerkur. Both subsidiaries also generate third party business and generate additional profit margins for the HanseMerkur Group.

At the end of 2018, HM Trust AG managed 34 fund mandates. The volume of third-party mandates for institutional clients, including pension funds, pension funds and industrial companies listed in the DAX or MDAX, amounted to € 1.6 billion. Overall, HMT managed assets of € 8.7 billion at the end of 2018. In risk management, HMT provides its clients with an automated early-warning system for assessing credit risks, which has significant unique selling points: it monitors the creditworthiness of states and European companies on the basis of more than 100 key figures per issuer per day. As a result, HMT operates completely independently of rating analyzes and external credit analyzes. The sustainable mutual funds now also meet strict criteria for climate protection by excluding coal, oil, natural gas, oil sands and fracking from low quotas.

HanseMerkur Grundvermögen AG (HMG) specializes in German real estate investments and commercial real estate financing. Since its foundation in 2014, HMG has invested more than € 1.8 billion in residential and office properties. In addition, the commercial real estate financing volume amounts to around EUR 500 million. In addition to the HanseMerkur Group, a large number of institutional clients and co-investors are also looked after here. The focus is on residential and office real estate in Germany’s top 7 locations. More than 50 real estate specialists cover investment, asset and portfolio management, fund design and financing.

Surpluses and consolidated equity at record levels
The course of sustainable and profitable growth strengthens the company’s risk-bearing capacity and, in terms of equity capital (EK) and surpluses, led in 2018 to its best ever result. The addition of € 81.5 million or 16.3 percent to the total of € 582.3 million was the highest in the company’s history. The HanseMerkur Group has thus increased its equity by 331 million euros in the last five years. The return on equity in the Group is very high at 14.4 percent in recent years despite the high inflow of new capital. Further measures to strengthen equity are planned for 2019. Net income before taxes, RfB and SchwaRü also rose by 3.7 per cent (€ 367.3 million) to an all-time high. The company has an extremely solid base in terms of own funds under Solvency II. This is reflected in the very good solvency ratios of the individual companies. HanseMerkur Krankenversicherung AG has an SCR ratio of 574 percent in the main business segment. The investment portfolio grew by 11.4 percent to 8,958.7 million euros and is approaching the 9 billion euro threshold. The net return on investments was 3.5 percent.

E-Health Strategy:
From the service provider to the healthcare provider
HanseMerkur Krankenversicherung AG (HMK) offers its customers a wide range of digital health solutions. The company, which introduced the nationwide first invoice application in 2011, extended it in the year under review with a digital postbox for smartphones and tablets. This enables users to receive and archive letters from sickness services digitally. Increased security standards are accommodated with two-factor authentication. Already in September 2018, the number of 1,000,000 paperless service submissions was exceeded, which corresponds to around 30 percent of the total incoming invoices. The automation rate in billing in 2018 was 61.3 percent, which corresponds to a caseload of 850,000.

In the year under review, the medical counseling service in cooperation with MD Medicus Assistance GmbH was expanded to include a video chat for which 50 specialists from different disciplines are available. Since 2018 HMK customers with cardiological problems have also had access to a personal electronic health record with a mobile ECG device (CARDIOGO app) that, in the case of acute heart problems, links with a cardiologist who evaluates the telemedically recorded ECG and sends it to the patients advises next steps. Another e-health solution is a Tinnitracks therapy app that can help against tonal tinnitus and specifically filters the frequency of the disturbing sound from the patient’s favorite music. And fully insured persons with simple mental disabilities have recently been offered an online therapy program. In addition, the HMK is a consortium partner of a ventilator network (beat-net) of the Protestant Clinic Niederrhein for the improvement of home intensive care of invasive and non-invasive ventilated patients with amateur-friendly monitoring devices for telemedical connection and training of relatives.

In the year under review, HanseMerkur was the only private health insurance company to be a founding member of a vital network and a platform for leading physicians, future thinkers and opinion leaders from all areas of the healthcare industry, where essential topics of modern and individualized data medicine are focused on patient orientation. Through the network of this forum for future medicine (www.forum-zukunftsmedizin.de), a cooperation has already developed with Molecular Health, a leading, knowledge-based company in cancer medicine. In particular, HMK customers will benefit from the use of new gene sequencing methods with advanced tumors such as recurrent ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer.

New corporate design
The year under review was also dominated by the revision of the brand. The last adjustment was 20 years ago, in which HanseMerkur expanded its offer, which has grown sustainably and profitably and has become more international. Following the visual re-translation of the brand strategy, the logo symbolizes an open community that shakes hands with everyone. It illustrates the strength that comes from being in the spirit of being together at eye level. The new corporate design meets the digital requirements of Internet and smartphone communication and dispenses with the addition “insurance group”. With a supported brand awareness of around 80 percent and the perception as an all-round insurer this was no longer necessary, but the communicative central idea of ​​the company, hand in hand is HanseMerkur, remains an integral part.

For further information please contact:

Heinz-Gerhard Wilkens
Head of Corporate Communications
HanseMerkur insurance group
Siegfried-Wedells-Platz 1
20354 Hamburg
Tel .: + 49-40-4119 1691
E-Mail: heinz-gerhard.wilkens@hansemerkur.de