Austria and Central and Eastern Europe form the regional focus of Vienna Insurance Group. The roots of the Company reach back to 1824 in Austria. The experience and success achieved there made the impressive expansion of the last two decades possible.
However, even in the 21st century, Austria remains an attractive market for VIG. Austria has a lower insurance density (insurance premiums per capita) for life insurance than other Western European countries and therefore still offers growth potential, although to a lesser extent than other VIG markets.
VIG is the market leader in Austria and aims to further consolidate its position in the future. Due to their expertise, rapid reaction to social trends and pioneering role in many areas, such as nursing care insurance, the Austrian Group companies are well on their way to achieving this goal.
Building on its success in Austria, the Company made a major strategic decision in 1990 to become one of the first Western insurers to take advantage of the growth opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe. VIG has since grown from a purely local insurance company into one of the largest international insurance groups in the CEE region, and has risen to become the market leader in its core markets.
This early entry brought significant first mover advantages. In addition, more than 20 years of expertise gathered in the CEE region ensures that the companies in each country are now also optimally positioned for the future. This is particularly important because the 180 million people in the region offer enormous potential for new customers.
One-way this potential can be shown is by comparing the insurance density of different countries. VIG's core markets in the CEE region had an average insurance density of EUR 208 in 2011, compared to EUR 2,624 for the EU-15 countries. In the non-life insurance area, the comparison is EUR 112 to EUR 1,069. The potential is even greater for life insurance, which shows an insurance density of EUR 96 in core CEE markets and EUR 1,555 in the EU-15 countries.
VIG has made a clear commitment to the region of Central and Eastern Europe and will take advantage of the opportunities offered both by the great economic potential of the region and the population's desire for convergence. As a rule, the Group has the objective of consolidating or further improving its market position in all countries, and intends to continue growing faster than the market in coming years. This is to be achieved primarily through organic growth. This does not mean, however, that VIG will not make purchases that improve its market position and fit well in its existing portfolio.