Gothaer achieves growth in premium revenues and
strengthens its capital base in the 2018 fiscal year
- 2.1 percent growth in premium revenues to € 4.38 billion
- Substantial improvement in risk carrier production results
- Group equity climbs to € 1,159 million
- Solid solvency ratios and confirmed rating
- Consistent digitalization of customer touchpoints
Cologne, 12 April 2019 - Group CEO Dr Karsten Eichmann presented robust figures at the balance sheet press conference, commenting, "2018 was another good year for the Gothaer Group. Gross premiums written at Group level rose by 2.1 percent to € 4,383 million, with all segments contributing to the growth. One of the key growth drivers was the property and casualty insurance segment, where written premiums rose by 1.8 percent to € 2,224 million. The life insurance segment also made an important contribution with an increase of 3.6 percent," said Dr Karsten Eichmann, Chief Executive Officer of the Gothaer Group.
The chart shows a segment-specific breakdown of written premiums:
"We were very pleased to have our financial stability reconfirmed again in 2018, despite operating in a challenging environment, with another ‘stable’ Standard & Poor's rating," commented Eichmann. A diversified positioning and good profitability are the basis for the Group’s positive performance. The capital base was further strengthened with end-of-year Group equity at € 1,159 million (prior year: € 1,036 million).
Group-level solvency ratios as well as those of Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG and Gothaer Krankenversicherung AG improved again – and the other risk carriers are stable.
Investment results remain good in a historically low interest rate environment
The Gothaer Group delivered good investment results, overall, in a historically low interest rate environment. At the end of 2018 the investment volume was € 28,746 million (according to the German Commercial Code, HGB). “The proportion of investments with investment grade rating remained at the high level of 96.7 percent (prior year: 95.7 percent). In 2019 the Group intends to continue focusing on reducing credit positions and increasing non-listed assets. We are planning to obtain government-backed export credits in a volume of up to € 500 million and collateralized trade financing of up to € 500 million,” said Harald Epple, Chief Financial Officer of the Gothaer Group, at the press conference.
Gothaer Allgemeine: growth through innovative new products
Gross premiums written by Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG were 0.4 percent higher than in 2017 at € 1,810 million. This was particularly due to growth in direct business (plus 1.2 percent) and the positive development of new business, which increased by 38 percent year-on-year to € 45.9 million. “2018 was Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung’s most successful year to date in terms of sales. Our new products and marketing methods are working and we are very happy with our cyber insurance product, which offers solid all-round cover to commercial and industrial customers. The Franke und Bornberg rating agency gave it a FF+ rating, putting it among the top five cyber insurance products in the market,” commented Dr Christopher Lohmann, Chief Executive Officer of Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG. Market acceptance of the new homeowners insurance with scaled premiums depending on the building‘s age and the innovative no claims discount system, which were launched in 2018, was very good. The company was the first insurer in the market to introduce a no claims discount system. Inclusion of this system secures attractive premiums for recent buildings without a loss history. The pipeline for 2019 includes innovative new product launches and existing product renewals. We will be introducing a motor insurance tariff promoting e-mobility in October, as well as a tariff offering a CO2 neutrality option.
Gothaer Leben: successful turnaround in 2018
Gross premiums written by Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG in 2018 rose by 4.1 percent to € 1,191 million, thereby outperforming the market. A growth turnaround has been successfully achieved after a three-year negative revenue trend as a result of the strategic restructuring of the portfolio. “We’re delighted with the 18 percent growth in new business after the trend reversal in 2018. The primary contributors to that growth have been the new pension products we have launched over the past two years. The new occupational disability and invalidity insurance product has also had a catalyst effect on biometrics business,” said Michael Kurtenbach, Chief Executive Officer of Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG. Gothaer Leben achieved around 10 percent growth in company pension plan business during 2018. It was particularly successful with direct insurance products (23 percent growth year-on-year). Company pension plan business accounted for 33 percent of total new business in 2018.
Gothaer Kranken: strong growth in new supplementary insurance business
Gross premiums written by Gothaer Krankenversicherung AG of € 841 million are 0.8 per cent above the 2017 level. “Gothaer Krankenversicherung has a very robust position and it has achieved clear growth in new business of 21 percent, particularly in the supplementary insurance segment,” reported Oliver Schoeller, Chief Executive Officer of Gothaer Krankenversicherung AG. These are the foundations for an attractive and sustainable market position. “The integration of telemedicine and the introduction of the vivy electronic patient record, as well as the significant expansion of digital services in company health insurance, will fast-track Gothaer Krankenversicherung’s repositioning as a digital health service provider this year,” said Schoeller.
Consistent digitalization of customer touchpoints
“When we develop new products our key objective is to enhance the customer experience. Our customers and marketing partners are involved in the process to ensure that our customers’ needs are optimally catered to. We use an iterative process, as well as the customer journey and design workshop methods. An important part of this digitalization is the continuous extension of our app portfolio. We also provide added value to customers via digital ecosystems, particularly through collaborations with new partners such as Grohe, Abus, Bosch and OptioPay”, commented Eichmann. At the same time, Gothaer is continuously extending its range of customer self-service offerings. The ‘Meine Gothaer’ (My Gothaer) portal provides Gothaer customers with a transparent overview of their policies, including all the contract details. Important documents and personalized certificates are also provided via the portal.
A recording of the press conference will be available after 2 pm at www.youtube.de/mygothaer
Press and Corporate Communications
2017 Financial Year: Gothaer Strengthens Substance and Drives Forward Group Restructuring
- Consolidated net income for the year rises 5.6% to € 165 million
- Group equity up 8.0% to € 2,154 million
- Solvency ratio further improved and ratings confirmed
- Important milestones reached in digitization and realignment of the Group
Cologne, 15 May 2018 – The Gothaer Group can present good figures for the 2017 financial year: the consolidated net income rose 5.6% to €165 million. Part of this was used to strengthen the equity base. Equity grew 8.0% and stood at €2,154 million at the end of 2017. Gross premiums written at Group level rose 0.3% to €4,424 million. "Gothaer posted a sound result again in 2017. In property/casualty insurance in particular, we were able to continue our growth course," says Dr. Karsten Eichmann, Group CEO. The largest risk carrier – Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG – achieved an increase of 5.8% in premiums written (according to Germany's Commercial Code (HGB)). "At the same time, we have reached important milestones in the implementation of our Gothaer 2020 Group strategy: the digitization of our business model is progressing in all parts of the Company and new, more efficient structures and processes have been set in motion," says Eichmann.
Group premiums written, by segment
Digitization and strengthening of agility
Digitization continues to be a focus in the current year. In addition to a large number of initiatives in the product and service area and in advising customers, the Company is creating at Group level the conditions for success in the digital world. The spectrum ranges from the introduction of new structures and working methods to the restructuring of IT, the creation of new working environments all the way to further qualification and cultural change.
Solvency ratios further improved as per 31 December 2017
"Thanks to good solvency ratios as per 30 September 2017, we have seen a further upward trend. Not only the recovery in interest rates, but also the successful transformation of Gothaer Leben and the stable solvency ratios of our core companies have contributed to the improvement in our equity situation," says Eichmann. The solvency value of the Group stood at 257% in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Gothaer Allgemeine: Transformation into a digital risk and service partner
Gross premiums written by Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG rose 5.8% to €1,822 million. The combined ratio, too, evolved along very positive lines. It was further reduced and, at 91.2%, is well below the market average. The underwriting result reached an all-time high of €145 million. In order to further strengthen competitiveness in the property/casualty area, the transformation of Gothaer Allgemeine into a digital risk and service partner was also initiated in 2017. "Additionally, Gothaer Allgemeine is repositioning itself as part of the Gothaer 2020 Group strategy. Internally, our main focus here is on leaner processes and faster decision-making and a good balance between growth and earnings. Externally, we want to inspire our customers with modular products, digital services and improved customer service. Here, we are also pursuing strategic cooperation schemes," explains Dr. Christopher Lohmann, Chairman of the Board of Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG. The newly launched cyber insurance, the new product world for private customers rolled out on the market in February 2018 and Gothaer's loss tracker are important milestones on this path, as are cooperation schemes in the digital environment with Abus and Grohe or the start-ups hepster, getaway or EMIL.
Gothaer Leben: Trend reversal initiated
Gross premiums written by Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG fell by 4.3% to €1,144 million in 2017. In new business, around 75% was attributable to the desired business areas of biometrics and capital-efficient old-age provision. "We have completed the difficult phase of the transformation of Gotha Leben in 2017 and propose to generate growth again starting in 2018. With the successful launch of the new capital-efficient single-premium product Gothaer Index Protect in September 2017, we have initiated a trend reversal in new-business development. By the end of the year, we had already received cash inflows of around €50 million in this product," says a delighted Michael Kurtenbach, CEO of Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG.
This positive trend continued in the first quarter of 2018: gross premiums at Gothaer Leben increased 10% compared with the previous year, new business even by 40%. This growth is mainly fed by two channels: the new single-premium product and company pension plans. The first impetus from Germany's Act on Strengthening Company Pension Schemes (BRSG), which became effective on 1 January 2018, is already noticeable here.
Gothaer Kranken: Strong growth in company health insurance
Gross premiums written by Gothaer Krankenversicherung AG, at €834 million, are 1.2% above the level of 2016. "Moreover, at growth of 23%, 2017 was the most successful year to date for our company health scheme. We want to expand our success in this segment in the coming years and at the same time push business with supplementary insurance once again," explains Oliver Schoeller, CEO of Gothaer Krankenversicherung AG. The basis for this growth is the transformation of Gothaer Kranken from a benefit payer to a health-service provider with a multitude of digital offers for customers and intermediaries. The central platform for this approach is Gothaer's GesundheitsApp (health app), introduced in January 2018, in which Gothaer customers can access a large number of health programmes in addition to the digital submission of invoices and the digital doctor search. Here, the ecosystem is constantly being expanded. For instance, Gothaer Kranken, in cooperation with TeleClinic, will introduce telemedical services in July. This means that specialists can be consulted from the app at any time and easily by phone, video or chat.
Investment: Good investment results
Overall, the Gothaer Group is delivering good investment results in a historically low interest-rate environment: the Group's net return under IFRS for the 2017 financial year was 4.5%. "In 2017, we further improved credit quality: the proportion of investments with an investment-grade rating rose significantly to 95.6% (previous year: 94.7%). Major changes in investments in 2017 were an increase in the diversification of interest-rate instruments and a reduction in government bonds from Italy and Spain. We have cut back on credit instruments. Against the background of low returns relative to the risk to be taken, we will continue to reduce riskier investments in the current year," sums up Harald Epple, CFO of the Gothaer Group.
Please find a recording of the press conference from 14:00 hrs at www.youtube.de/mygothaer
Presse und Unternehmenskommunikation
Gothaer strengthens substance and scores digitization successes
- Consolidated net income for the year probably up 1.2% to 164 million
- Group equity likely to grow by 5.4% to € 2,113 million
- Solvency ratios further improved
- Video and audio recordings of CEO for inclusion and downloading
Cologne, 12 December 2017 – At today's press event on the annual financial statements, Group CEO, Dr. Karsten Eichmann, presents sound figures:
"The year 2017 is probably again going to be a good one for the Gothaer Group. We are assuming slight growth in the gross premiums written at Group level to over €4.44 billion. A strong growth driver here is property/casualty insurance. The biggest risk carrier – Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG – will probably show a plus of 5.9% in gross premiums written (pursuant to Germany's Commercial Code (HGB)). It is also very gratifying that, in 2017, we were again able to furnish proof of our financial clout in a challenging environment. In a period of persistently low interest rates, this is undoubtedly an issue that many insurance companies are facing. Standard & Poor's, but Fitch Ratings as well, have again confirmed our good ratings with stable outlook," says Eichmann.
It is the Group's broad-based structure and its good profitability that form the foundation of its success. The consolidated net income has probably risen by 1.2% to over € 164 million, thus strengthening our equity-capital basis, meaning that the Group's equity is likely to grow by 5.4% to €2,113 million by the end of the year.
Solvency ratios further improved as per 30 September 2017
"Starting from good solvency ratios, we have seen a further upward movement as per the start of the year. The improvement in our own-funds situation was thanks not only to recovering interest rates, but also to stable solvency ratios in our core companies," said Eichmann. With a volatility adjustment and transition measures, the Group's solvency value stood at 243% at end-September.
Investment: Good investment results
In an historically low-interest environment, the Gothaer Group delivers good investment results overall: the Group's net return pursuant to IFRS will probably stand at 4.4% for the 2017 financial year. "In 2017, it was possible to further improve credit quality: the share of investments with an investment-grade rating, at 95.6%, was perceptibly increased (previous year: 94.7%). Crucial changes in investment in 2017, among interest and credit instruments, occurred in an increase in diversification among non-eurozone issuers – specifically, US Municipal Bonds, investments in Dutch mortgages and the reduction in Italian and Spanish government bonds," sums up Harald Epple, the Gothaer Group's CFO.
Gothaer Allgemeine: Re-alignment in commercial business successfully implemented
Gross premiums written by Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG, at € 1,822 million, are probably 5.9% above the 2016 level. One positive aspect is also the improved loss ratio despite heavy burdens from natural disasters. "The new cyber insurance for commercial customers with sales of more than €5 million took off really well. In January, we will also be offering it to customers with sales of less than €5 million," explains Dr. Christopher Lohmann, CEO at Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG. The new product 'Gothaer GewerbeProtect' for commercial customers, which was rolled out in June 2017, has been launched very successfully and has already reached an annual net amount exceeding €3.3 million.
For private customers, there will be an accident insurance in 2018 with the new supplementary invalidity insurance module and, specifically for children, with supplementary child protection and supplementary child invalidity insurance. In addition, a new product extension is being added to home insurance and, as market innovation, an optional no-claims bonus system is now available. Another highlight in the new year: the pet/animal health insurance protection charter. With the Gothaer claims tracker, Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG will be offering an interactive smartphone app starting in 2018.
Gothaer Leben: Market development under new conditions
Gross premiums written by Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG have probably fallen 4.5% to €1,142 million in 2017. The company is systematically focusing on the future-proof strategic business fields 'biometrics' and 'capital-efficient pension plans'. In 2017, it was possible to further expand the share of new business in these fields and to further lower the share of classic products. "With the successful launch of the new capital-efficient single-premium product 'Gothaer Index Protect' in autumn 2017, we were able to achieve a turnaround in new-business development, while also creating an important basis for further growth in the coming years. 2017 also saw the implementation of a string of digitization initiatives, eg the insurance file 'Blue Postbox' and self-services for our customers. For 2018, our aim is to back a moderate growth course based on our lead products and continuation along our digitization path," says Michael Kurtenbach, CEO at Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG.
Gothaer Kranken: Strong growth in company health insurance
Gross premiums written by Gothaer Krankenversicherung AG, at probably € 831 million, will be 0.9% above the 2016 level. "To date, 2017 has been the most successful year for our company health insurance. We were able to win over renowned companies like Persona Service and CompuGroup Medical as customers," says a delighted Oliver Schoeller, CEO of Gothaer Krankenversicherung AG. The company also has good news on the subject of premium adjustments as per 1 January 2018: the very moderate premium adjustment, probably below the market average, in Gothaer Krankenversicherung's total portfolio, stands at 2.53%. For 2018, the scene has been set for more growth and expansion of our positioning to become a health service provider – coupled with significant expansion of digital offerings for intermediaries and customers.
Upshot 2017 and outlook 2018: Digitalization and strengthening the sense of community
"In 2017, we have done a lot to push forward in the field of digitization and have seen many promising pilots, but also achieved definite effects in concrete implementation already – for instance, the deployment of artificial intelligence in processing incoming mail or via neural networks that process claims in health insurance," says Eichmann. As a new working method, the company uses Design Sprint and, thanks to it, has developed a marketing-support tool for the single-premium product 'Life' in under 100 days. In addition, a new Health App will be launched, and the Claims App is being expanded.
"Another central subject for us in 2018 will be the community. For us, as an insurance association, this subject is part of our DNA inasmuch as the community, in the event of a claim, is there for the individual: that is at the core of our business model. Our impetus both internally and externally is to protect values in the community. We therefore want to focus more strongly on the idea of community in our communication, but above all in the customer experience as well," says Eichmann. Another aspect for the coming years is the trend towards increased cooperation between insurers. Today already, the Gothaer Group is working together on topics such as Rentenwerk, Eurapco and ARGE.
Video and radio recordings of CEO for downloading at www.gothaer/JAG2017
Video recordings of CEO for inclusion on the following subjects
Financial year: https://youtu.be/UDDVvV9FotM
Solvency ratios: https://youtu.be/0xXOVTtDhEA
Please find a recording of the press talk at www.youtube.de/mygothaer.
Presse und Unternehmenskommunikation
Further corporate news
2016 financial year: Gothaer posts sound result and again strengthens equity base
- Rating agencies once more confirm good results
- Strategy project Gothaer 2020 showing first success
- Digitalization offensive in all business units
Cologne, 30 May 2017 – The Gothaer Group is submitting sound figures for the 2016 financial year: the consolidated annual surplus rose 17.4% to € 162 million. Some of the surplus flowed into strengthening the equity base. The Group's equity grew 8.8% to reach € 2.004 million at the end of 2016. Gross premiums written in 2016, at € 4.411 billion, dipped (-2.3%) compared with the previous year owing to the launched consolidation process. “Our figures show that the Gothaer Group is also successful when the going gets tough, and that we have been taking the right measures with our digitalization offensive,” says Dr. Karsten Eichmann, Gothaer Group CEO.
Gothaer Allgemeine insurer completely realigns business for commercial customers with GewerbeProtect
Gross premiums written by Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG, the Gothaer Group's casualty/property insurer, at € 1,723 million, were 1.2% above the 2015 level. The company showed sound growth with a clear success focus and was able to perceptibly improve its loss ratio. The new cyber insurance for existing customers took off well and is to be expanded to include mid-sized companies and the liberal professions.
“On 13 June, our new product GewerbeProtect starts for commercial customers, and we will be expanding this successively until autumn 2018,” reports Dr. Christopher Lohmann, Gothaer Allgemeine's new CEO. “The modular product, featuring more than two million combinations, offers companies insurance cover with high flexibility that can be digitally tailored to suit and may be taken out directly at the point of sale. Our new underlying IT system ensures short product-development cycles. Together with the new pricing model, these advantages will underpin an attractive market position for us,” Lohmann goes on.
Renewable energies business field goes on growing
Gothaer Allgemeine has been the leading insurer of wind-energy systems in Germany and other European countries for some years now and was able to expand this market position further in 2016: in the 2016 financial year, sales revenue in the wind energy business field rose 7.2%. Worldwide, Gothaer has insured some 17,000 wind-energy systems.
Gothaer Leben: Realignment of the business model systematically implemented
Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG's gross premiums written in 2016 amounted to € 1,196 million, falling 5.9% due to the difficult market environment. It was possible to increase new business by 12.4% to € 1,697 million. “One very successful event was the launch of our new old-age products Gothaer ZukunftsVorsorge in July 2016: the new-business share stood at over 90%. This far exceeded our production target – just under one quarter of total entire old-age new-business production was accounted for by this new solution for old-age provision,” says Michael Kurtenbach, Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG's and Gothaer Krankenversicherung AG's CEO. “In addition, we are working hard on realigning our business model, and this effort is progressing on track. For 2017, our aim is to expand collective business in stand-alone occupational disability insurance. We want to achieve this, among other ways, by stepping up cross-selling activities with company health insurance,” Kurtenbach adds, commenting on the 2017 product novelties. Planning also calls for rolling out a new, capital-efficient single-premium product in autumn 2017.
Gothaer Kranken: Strong growth in company health insurance
Gothaer Krankenversicherung AG's gross premiums written, at €824 million (-0.6%), remain largely stable. In the Health Insurance segment, too, new-business developments are gratifying: new business – measured in million Euros of monthly premiums – rose 7.7% to € 1.30 million. The year 2016 overall was thus very successful for Gothaer Krankenversicherung. New business – in comprehensive insurance as well – was on the up, and the company again managed to expand the number of customers with supplementary insurance above the market average. Company health insurance made a successful contribution here. In April 2017, new in-patient tariffs were launched. At the same time, it has also been possible in 2017 to acquire, together with MediExpert, further major customers in company health insurance and company health management. “We see ourselves in future as a modern health insurer with high earning power and a strong role in supplementary insurance,” is how Kurtenbach sums up the focuses for 2017 and the years to come.
Fitch Ratings and S&P confirm good assessments
The international agency Fitch Ratings on 20 January 2017 again confirmed the results for Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG and Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG. The companies still earn an 'A', and the outlook for the ratings is “stable”. The confirmed results, according to Fitch Ratings, reflect the strong and resilient capitalization as well as the Gothaer Group's good market position. Besides the Group's broad base, Fitch acknowledged its strong capitalization as a supporting factor for its good and unvarying rating.
“We're working hard to manage our Group along a value-driven and sustainable course even in what has, for a long time now, been an extremely challenging environment. That we are doing a very good job is shown by the renewed confirmation of our rating results by Fitch Ratings,” says Eichmann, commenting the current results.
Investment: in a historic low-interest environment, good investment results overall
In a historic low-interest environment, the Gothaer Group can report good investment results overall: the result earned from investments rose 32.8% to € 1,612 million. “The main changes in our investments in 2016 were an expansion of diversification in non-eurozone issuers – specifically US municipal bonds – as well as investment in Dutch mortgage loans,” sums up Harald Epple, Gothaer's CFO. As regards strategic asset allocation in 2017 and duration control, planning calls for a slight dismantling of credit instruments, a moderate lengthening of interest duration and a rise in the property share.
The Gothaer Group on the German insurance market is well ahead in investment in renewable energies relative to available investment volume. In April 2017, the Group spent €718 million on renewables. By the end of 2017, a total of one billion Euros is set to be invested in renewable energies.
Outlook for 2017: digitalization offensive in full swing
“With our Gothaer 2020 strategy, we are porting the business model of insurance into the future and are adjusting operations in the Gothaer Group to meet the changing requirements and expectations of our customers. For instance, in 2017, among other things, we are working on the build-up of data management under the heading "digitalization" and on developing digital business models, as well as the implementation of our start-up strategy and the launch of new speedboats,” explains Eichmann. One specific measure is our foundation membership of InsurLab Germany – a hub for the subject of InsurTech for start-ups, companies and investors in the insurance sector in Cologne. “We are hoping for access to the start-up scene and further cooperation opportunities. Another measure involves improving claims processing in the health area by deploying artificial intelligence. In this way, we will further enhance customer satisfaction by having shortened processing times,” says Eichmann.
A live stream of the press talk is available at www.gothaer-live.de.
Presse und Unternehmenskommunikation
2016 financial year: Gothaer strengthens substance and holds good rating results
- Consolidated profit for the year likely up 4.5% to €140 million
- Group equity grows 10.0% to €2,021 million
- Competence leadership in health management: Gothaer wins Corporate
Cologne, 13 December 2016 – At today's press meeting on the annual financial statements, Group CEO Dr. Karsten Eichmann is able to present some sound figures: The consolidated profit for the year will probably rise 4.5% to over €140 million. Some of the surplus is going into strengthening the equity base. Group equity grows 10.0% and is likely to be around €2,021 million by the end of the year. The result earned from capital investments will in all likelihood be up 13.4% to €1,375 million. Gross premiums written at Group level – after consolidation of the business model in line with the market – are down 3.0% to €4,380 million.
Rating agencies confirm good results
The international rating agency Standard & Poor's ("S&P" for short) on 10 November confirmed the good rating results for the core companies in the Gothaer Group. The companies are again given an 'A-' with a stable outlook. Analysts praised the strong competitive position of the Gothaer Group, underpinned by its well diversified product and sales portfolio. Also stressed as positive was the fact that the Group, in its value-driven corporate management, was actively working toward developing even more profitable products. "I am pleased that S&P Global Ratings, too, – after Fitch Ratings – has again confirmed our rating results, thus acknowledging our sound capital resources and Gothaer's strong market position with its broad-based diversification," says Eichmann. Here an overview of the results:
Investment: Good investment results
The Gothaer Group is posting good investment results overall in a historic low-interest environment: The Group's net return according to IFRS will probably be 4.8% for the 2016 financial year. In 2016, the duration of interest-based investments was further increased. At the same time, diversification was again extended to include new issuers. The share of investments with an investment-grade rating was upped to 95.7%. Investments in renewable energies were expanded. "On the German insurance market, the Gothaer Group occupies a leading position when it comes to investing in renewable energies – relative to the available investment volume. We have almost reached our target of investing a total of one billion Euros in renewable energies by year's end 2016," sums up Harald Epple, CFO responsible for investments in the Gothaer Group.
Gothaer Allgemeine: Premiums rise, and cyber insurance launch in 2017
Gross premiums written by Gothaer Allgemeine Versicherung AG, at a likely €1,723 million, are 1.2% above the 2015 level. "In 2016, we commenced re-aligning our commercial business. Starting in January 2017, we will be expanding our portfolio for corporate customers by including cyber-insurance. Using various modules, this product can be tailored-to-suit," says Thomas Leicht, CEO at Gothaer Allgemeine, on the planned product launch. Gothaer's cyber-insurance, with its two obligatory modules 'liability' and 'first-party loss', covers the basic risks. These can be supplemented by the facultative modules 'business interruption', 'contractual penalty' – which takes care of credit-card firms' claims in the case of data leaks – and 'extended first-party loss'. Cooperating with selected service providers, Gothaer assumes the complete crisis management. The offering is currently targeting existing customers with sales revenue of at least €5 million.
Renewable energies go on growing
Gothaer Allgemeine has for many years been market leader as insurer of wind farms and was able to further expand this market position in 2016: As at end-October, the Renewable Energies business field posts premium growth of 6.0% in Germany and Europe compared with the previous year. Here, the foreign share is 40%. In France, Italy, Denmark, Greece, Austria and Sweden, double-digit growth rates were obtained.
Gothaer Leben: Realignment of business model systematically implemented
Gross premiums written by Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG will probably fall 7.6% to €1,175 million in 2016. The decline is largely due to single-premium business. Very gratifying developments, by contrast, were reported in new business, which – going by preliminary figures – will earn total premiums of approx. €1.6 million (+4.6%) by the end of the year. The company is focussing systematically on the future-proof, strategic business fields 'biometrics' and 'capital-efficient old-age provision'. In 2016, it was possible to further shape the composition of new business in the desired direction and again lower the new-business share in conventional classic products. "With the launch of Gothaer ZukunftsVorsorge (Provision for old age) products in mid-2016, we have crucially driven forward the re-alignment of the business model and have now expanded the new-business share in capital-efficient old-age provision to nearly 40%. A further third is accounted for by biometric products which, with risk gains, are making an important contribution to Gothaer Leben's sound income and substance situation," sums up Michael Kurtenbach, CEO at Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG and Gothaer Krankenversicherung AG.
Gothaer Kranken: Strong growth in company health insurance
At €821 million, gross premiums written by Gothaer Krankenversicherung AG will probably be 0.9% below the 2015 level. New business grows roughly 8% to €1.30 million in monthly premiums. "2016 has so far been the most successful year for our company health-insurance scheme. We were able to win over big-name customers like Boehringer Ingelheim, TÜV Rheinland and Lindt & Sprüngli," notes a happy Kurtenbach. "I still see great potential here. We've developed an electronic platform that is being used for digital buying syndicates and will further boost the proliferation of company health insurance." Further good news for the company comes from the premium adjustment as per 1 January 2017: The moderate average premium adjustment – well below the market average – in Gothaer Krankenversicherung's entire portfolio stands at 3.41%. A large share of this, however, is accounted for by compulsory long-term nursing-care insurance which, within the scope of Germany's second Act to Strengthen Long-term Care (PSG II), is given a definite boost to benefits.
Competence leadership in health management
The special jury of the Corporate Health Award every year honours companies for outstanding performance in company health management (BGM). On 18 November 2016, the BGM of Gothaer Versicherungen now won the Corporate Health Award for the 4th time. Gothaer again this year occupied the top slot in insurances. The jury praised the well thought-out concept involving low-threshold workplace-centric entry measures, follow-up measures and digital offerings that enable comprehensive reachability and inclusion of employees. The successful concept is being offered to external companies as well via Gothaer's subsidiary MediExpert: Its external customers include, eg, Koelnmesse GmbH, a trade-fair organizer, NEW AG, an energy utility, and Hans Turck GmbH Co. KG, an automation specialist.
Outlook 2017: Cooperation schemes, Group strategy and customer-focussed products
"For the coming years, we see a trend toward an increase in cooperation schemes between insurers. In 2016, Gothaer pointed the way along with three other private health insurers by setting up the joint venture LM+, or Leistungsmanagement (benefit management), in the area of health insurance. Another milestone is the cooperation started only recently with HUK in commercial business, explains Eichmann.
"In 2017, we will go on working full steam on implementing our 'Gothaer 2020' strategy with which we are porting our business model into the future and aligning the Gothaer Group to the changing requirements and expectations of our customers. The central components of this strategy are digitization coupled with our multi-channel strategy," Eichmann goes on to explain. "For instance, we are working on the digital integration of customers and partners and the revision of our product range, all the way to digitized offers."
Please find a repording of the press talk at www.youtube.de/mygothaer.
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