Munich (dpa) – The corona crisis is having an impact on private old-age provision: Europe’s largest insurer, Allianz, reported a sharp drop in its life insurance sales this year on Friday, as did competitors from the Dax group based in Munich.
In Germany, the industry leader sold new life insurance for 117 million euros in the third quarter, a decrease of almost 39 percent compared to the previous year. In the US and also in Italy, the decline was equally high, there was only an increase in the Asia-Pacific region.
Overall, Allianz’s premium income in the life / health division fell 9.4 percent to 16.8 billion euros. The company attributed this to Covid-19 and “active monitoring” without further explanation. “You have to put things in perspective,” CFO Giulio Terzariol said of the numbers. The year before, the life insurance business was particularly good. “I am sure we will see good numbers (in this area) in the future.”
Allianz is not alone in international life insurance weakness. This week, French group Axa – also a heavyweight – and, to a lesser extent, Düsseldorf-based Ergo-Versicherung, had reported declines in sales in the life division.
Life insurance is still a very popular form of private old-age benefit in Germany. According to the General Association of the German Insurance Industry, there were still 87 million life insurance contracts in Germany in 2019, more than 1,000,000 inhabitants. That’s because quite a few clients have more than one policy.
Even before Corona, life insurance had lost its appeal, as the European Central Bank’s zero interest rate policy reduced the potential for profitability and insurers generally no longer promised guaranteed interest rates on new contracts.
At Allianz, the crown pandemic hit several business areas hard, but the group was still able to increase its profits. Allianz performed better than analysts expected in all business areas. Sales fell in the third quarter from € 33.4 billion to € 31.4 billion, but in the end the group posted a net profit of almost € 2.1 billion, almost six percent more than the previous year. However, management did not come close to a new profit forecast. CEO Oliver Bäte had withdrawn his original target of an operating profit of € 11.5 to 12.5 billion at the end of April.
In the largest division, the property and casualty business, sales fell 1.8 percent to 12.9 billion euros. The ailing industrial insurance company AGCS made a significant contribution to this, the costs of which exceed revenue. There was also a sharp crown-related drop at Allianz Partners, a subsidiary specializing in travel insurance. With far fewer people traveling, the associated insurance business naturally suffers as well.