In the year under review, Swiss Life France posted a segment result of CHF 275 million (previous year: CHF 278 million). The slight decline is due to currency effects; the segment result increased by 3% in local currency. The result is primarily due to an increase in the still high-quality new business, higher fee income due to increased assets as well as an improved financial margin and improved technical margins in property and liability insurance. Health, death and disability insurance, meanwhile, experienced an unfavourable claims experience.
The insurance market grew by 4% in local currency in 2019 despite the ongoing low interest rate environment and in the context of increasing regulation as a result of the pension reform. Savings and retirement business was up 4%, while health, death and disability insurance and property and casualty business grew by 4.6% and 4%, respectively. Swiss Life in France increased premium volume to CHF 5.9 billion, maintaining its focus on profitability and quality of new business over growth. Premiums in savings and retirement provisions rose by 5% at Swiss Life in local currency. The share of premiums from unit-linked contracts was 49%, and thus about twice as high as the market average – thanks to the private insurer strategy and bonus distribution policy for investments in the premium customer segment. The contribution of unit-linked contracts to new business remained stable at a high level at 61%. At the end of 2019, these contracts accounted for 42% of reserves in the life business. In health, death and disability insurance, premium volume increased by 4% as a result of strong sales momentum in both health and death and disability. With its distribution of savings products, Swiss Life Banque Privée also made a positive contribution to business with high net worth individuals in 2019. Fee income rose from CHF 310 million to CHF 326 million in the year under review, due to increased assets and the good quality of new business. In local currency this equates to a 9% increase.
In 2020, Swiss Life in France will continue to focus on existing customer segments, in particular by expanding its pension, health, death and disability offerings. Based on multichannel distribution, the company will drive the further development of its “phygital” model, which best combines the personal, physical customer relationship with digitalisation and services.
Key figures for France
|Amounts in CHF million||2019||2018||+/-|
|GROSS WRITTEN PREMIUMS, POLICY FEES AND DEPOSITS RECEIVED||5 901||5 859||1%|
|Net earned premiums||2 828||2 709||4%|
|Fee and commission income||326||310||5%|
|TOTAL INCOME||4 093||3 876||6%|
|Net insurance benefits and claims||–2 410||–2 155||12%|
|Operating expense||–1 072||–9811||9%|
|TOTAL EXPENSE||–3 818||–3 5981||6%|
|Assets under control||46 055||41 722||10%|
|Insurance reserves||36 935||33 199||11%|
|Number of employees (full-time equivalents)||2 455||2 396||2%|