Unlike other Western European insurance markets, the ratio of non-life insurance to total premiums is relatively high, around 60%, in Austria. This means that the life insurance segment still has considerable growth potential.
Government cutbacks had a negative effect on growth in the life insurance segment of the Austrian insurance market in 2012. Due to a statutory change increasing the minimum lock-in period from ten to 15 years for single premium policies, and a reduction in government premiums for government-sponsored pension plans, premiums declined by 6.9% in the life insurance segment during the 1st-3rd quarter of 2012. In addition, the ongoing low interest rate environment also affected total interest earned, with the guaranteed interest rate being reduced to 1.75% at the end of 2012. Unlike the life insurance segment, property and casualty premiums recorded very good growth of 3.3%. Motor vehicle insurance also contributed to this growth as a result of rising registrations and an increase in the minimum amount insured. Health insurance premiums written also rose by 3.3% in the 1st-3rd quarter of 2012.
The average insurance density in Austria (average per capita premiums) was EUR 1,952 in 2011, of which EUR 1,121 was for non-life insurance and EUR 831 for life insurance.