Insurance business

The total number of clients in the Sustainability Report area is estimated at almost 44 million, including 41.7 million insurance clients and over 1.5 million banking clients.

Insurance business

  • In 2012, the number of clients remained generally stable, decreasing in Italy (-1.4%), France (-1.7%) and the Czech Republic (-2.2%) and increasing in Austria (2.5%), Spain (2.3%) and especially in Switzerland (9.5%).
  • The share of Group insurance clients that are medium to large companies remained stable at 3.9%, with a higher incidence in Switzerland (6.9%) and Italy (6.5%) and negligible values in France and Spain.
CountryLifeHealthMotorOther non-life lines
Italy 3.800.619 3.783.604 249.904 225.596 4.757.939 4.642.799 3.680.841 3.605.700
Austria 738.237 782.890 409.399 438.207 722.961 746.855 2.974.297 3.073.265
Czech Republic 1.909.557 1.817.183 361.554 318.496 1.410.289 1.382.882 2.292.591 2.297.935
France 1.284.863 1.298.732 541.054 536.682 1.775.083 1.714.295 2.832.930 2.749.518
Germany 6.954.994 7.082.314 2.356.582 2.332.072 2.019.335 2.061.812 6.588.036 6.503.829
Spain 596.870 699.712 72.196 76.733 832.347 946.065 1.239.768 1.341.655
Switzerland 462.831 472.511 9.343 9.702 308.823 305.693 447.735 458.800
TOTAL 15.747.971 15.936.946 4.000.032 3.937.488 11.826.777 11.800.401 20.056.198 20.030.702
Incidence % 30,5% 30,8% 7,7% 7,6% 22,9% 22,8% 38,8% 38,7%
  • The total number of clients by line of business (LoB) is greater than the total number of clients, as some clients may have taken out multiple policies with Group companies to cover different risks.
  • The life LoB remains the highest in terms of client numbers, growing by 1.2% in 2012. The number of clients in the health LoB decreased overall (-1.6%) despite good growth in Austria (+7%), Spain (+6.3%) and Switzerland (+3.8%), while numbers in the motor and non-life LoB remained substantially stable.
  • Client numbers increased mainly in Spain, in all LoB and with particularly high peaks in the life (+17.2%) and motor (+13.7%) LoB, and in Austria, especially in the life (+6%) and health (+7%) LoB. Conversely, client numbers fell in the Czech Republic, especially in the life (-4.8%) and health (-11.9%) LoB, and to a lesser extent in Italy, with a peak of 9.7% in the health LoB.

Percentage of clients by age bracket

  • There is no significant change in the distribution of Group clients compared to 2011, although there has been a slight shift towards older age brackets. This confirms a higher concentration - one quarter of the total - in the central age bracket aged between 41 and 50 years.
  • The youngest age bracket, consisting of clients under the age of 30 years, has the lowest number of policyholders; Germany is the exception, with clients distributed almost uniformly in all age brackets except the central one (between 41 and 50 years), in which more than a quarter of clients are concentrated.
  • In France and the Czech Republic, more than half of clients are over 50 years, with most of them in the over 60 age bracket.
CountryLifeHealthMotorOther non-life linesTotal
Italy 5,265,031 5,269,223 272,858 248,415 6,714,899 6,408,568 4,876,266 4,811,146 17,129,054 16,737,352
Austria 1,086,725 1,076,038 764,185 771,575 2,310,127 2,299,412 4,293,574 4,351,125 8,454,611 8,498,150
France 2,139,855 2,152,243 805,681 788,164 2,090,392 2,064,359 2,897,248 2,833,382 7,933,176 7,838,148
Germany 12,266,565 12,142,441 1,622,028 1,607,556 4,672,324 4,850,662 12,770,489 12,836,027 31,331,406 31,436,686
Czech Republic 2,131,061 2,023,515 354,967 310,440 2,966,900 2,835,249 4,107,688 4,062,657 9,560,616 9,231,861
Spain 670,757 709,343 81,559 67,996 1,184,417 1,311,662 1,849,666 1,994,388 3,786,399 4,083,389
Switzerland 536,443 549,742 9,413 9,796 363,373 362,376 555,779 567,583 1,465,008 1,489,497
TOTAL 24,096,437 23,922,545 3,910,691 3,803,942 20,302,432 20,132,289 31,350,710 31,456,308 79,660,270 79,315,083
Incidence % 30.2% 30.2% 4.9% 4.8% 25.5% 25.4% 39.4% 39.7% 100% 100%


  • The number of policies fell by 0.4% compared to 2011, with higher decreases in the Czech Republic (-3.4%), Italy (-2.3%) and France (-1.2%), while the number of policies increased in Spain (+7.8%) and Switzerland (+1.7%). The decrease experienced in 2012 brings the number of policies back to 2010 levels following the slight recovery experienced last year.
  • The greatest decrease was observed in the health LoB (-2.7%), mainly as a result of contractions in the Czech Republic (-12.5%) and Spain (-16.6%). However, significant growth was recorded in Spain in the life (+5.8%), motor (+10.7%) and other non-life (+7.8%) LoB.
  • A comparison of the number of policies with the number of clients shows that, on average, clients hold more than one insurance contract with Group companies. More specifically, each client has an average of 1.5 life policies, 1.6 other non-life policies and 1.7 motor policies, consistent with the previous year's figures.
  • The breakdown of the insured portfolio in each country - calculated as the ratio between the number of policies taken out in the individual lines of business in each country and the total number of policies for the country - reveals significant differences. There is a general predominance of non-life contracts (taken as the sum of motor, health and other non-life policies) with a particularly high concentration in Austria and Spain, at 87.3% and 82.6% respectively.
  • In the non-life LoB, other non-life policies constitute the largest share representing, on average, 39.7% of the portfolio, with peaks in Austria (51.2%) and Spain (48.8%). The share in the motor LoB is particularly high in Italy (38.3%), Spain (32.1%) and the Czech Republic (30.7%), while, conversely, it is very low in Germany (15.4%).
  • Finally, a significant share of life policies are in Germany (38.6%) and Switzerland (37.9%).
  • Collective policies represent 1.6% of the total.

Management of non-life claims

In the non-life insurance segment, the quality of customer service is mainly measured at the claim settlement stage.

The Group has shared facilities in all countries to optimise claim management procedures and to facilitate the settlement of claims, although independent management procedures still exist in certain companies. In order to improve customer service and, in particular, to reduce claim assessment timelines, the Group companies have introduced streamlined procedures for managing "straightforward" claims, i.e. claims for damage only to goods that receive moderate reimbursement.

With regard to the different stages of claims management, most Group companies have developed services for handling customer needs.

In particular, based on specific local requirements and the services developed by individual Group companies, clients can:

  • receive information and assistance at the agency, through the call centres or the website, at approved body repair shops or independent brokers which use IT systems that can provide full automated responses including all useful references;
  •  report an accident via an agency, call centre (which can provide customer support or assistance to the sales network for reports received by the agency), website (using the appropriate online forms), or smartphone application;
  •  obtain the contact details of an assessor via the agency when reporting the claim, by contacting the call centre, or by SMS. Furthermore, in Austria, France and Switzerland, a remote assessment system is available which, in addition to limiting travel demands on assessors and therefore benefitting the environment, it also reduces the inconvenience to the client. In 2012, a drive-in service as a result of special weather events such as hail was launched in Switzerland, which simplifies and speed of claims assessments on a collective basis, thus significantly reducing the timelines for claim settlement.

In 2012, a project was completed involving Group companies based in Italy and Generali Business Solutions settlements area. The project's objectives were to review the wording of communications sent to clients following a claim with a view to making all information fully understandable and readily accessible and to ensure the prompt and correct handling of claims.

Agreements and conventions with healthcare facilities, doctors, roadside-assistance providers, body shops, car hire firms, etc. are in place to facilitate customer access to the services provided. The supplier selection procedures adopted by Group companies are aimed at ensuring high service levels for the customer. In particular, agreements with body shops, in addition to ensuring excellent service and keeping the cost of claims to a minimum, may also include the provision of a courtesy vehicle, warranty on repairs and the provision of the service without advance payment and/or the total refund of the claim without charging the excess. Similarly, agreements are in place with companies specializing in the repair and replacement of windscreens, which offer a high quality service and manage claims directly with the companies without asking the client for advance payment.

CountryNumber of
claims reported
Number of
claims settled
Sums paid for claims
(thousand euros)
Italy 1,801,376 1,563,546 1,655,496 1,433,691 4,060,030 3,708,157
Austria 812,871 846,033 878,066 903,064 881,350 932,779
Czech Republic 503,073 491,063 445,269 411,665 542,440 496,140
France 708,075 675,796 673,529 669,561 1,654,582 1,479,402
Germany 3,685,917 3,739,967 3,128,146 3,072,065 2,711,634 2,769,060
Spain 1,783,868 1,833,037 1,927,388 2,033,788 909,389 897,508
Switzerland 246,279 256,902 245,214 277,608 402,000 421,727
TOTAL 9,541,459 9,406,344 8,953,108 8,801,442 11,161,424 10,704,773


  • In 2012, Group companies received over 9.4 million claims, with a decrease of 1.4% compared to 2011. A marked decrease in claims reported was recorded in Italy (-13.2%).
  • The distribution of claims reported in different countries shows a concentration in Germany (39.8%), Spain (19.5%) and Italy (16.6%).
  • In 2012, the Group settled more than 8.8 million claims (-1.7% compared to 2011), paying out a total in excess of 10.7 billion euros (-4.1% compared to 2011). Only a portion of claims paid were reported during the year under review,
  • while the remainder refers to claims filed in previous years. 37.5% of claims were reported via call centres with a decrease in the overall share of 1.4% compared to 2011. This communication method is particularly strong in Spain, where 99.1% of all claims are reported by telephone.
Italy 70.3% 71.2%
Austria 73.4% 73.8%
Czech Republic 79.6% 82.1%
France 58.3% 63.4%
Germany 81.8% 82.1%
Spain 71.5% 71.3%
Switzerland 80.9% 81.5%

One of the main factors affecting client/injured-party satisfaction at the time of claim settlement is the time taken to receive compensation. The table shows the percentage of claims reported and not cancelled during the year, which were settled in the same year.
The percentage recorded in the year under review is an indicator of the time taken to handle claims through to settlement with the associated payout to the policyholder/injured-party. For the first time, the indicator has been calculated consistently for both years and for all countries, i.e. using claims data from all motor insurance types: third-party insurance and other guarantees such as fire, theft, collision, fully comprehensive, etc..

The direct companies (Genertel and CosmosDirekt) have not been included in the calculation and only Cˇ eská Pojišt'ovna is included for the Czech Republic.

The overall settlement rate has improved, particularly in France (+5.1 percentage points) and the Czech Republic (+2.5 percentage points). All countries recorded an improvement with the exception of Spain, due to greater caution in claims management given the increase in speculation and fraud as a result of the current crisis.

The settlement rate has improved for the following reasons:

  • more efficient IT procedures and/or the strengthening of centralized management (Italy, France, the Czech Republic);
  • more stringent use of cash settlements, i.e. the payment of claims based on the estimate provided by a company or third-party assessor, or a company or authorised third-party body shop (Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic);
  • stronger active claims management strategies, such as the Garantie 7 service in Switzerland which guarantees that claims will be paid within 7 days from the date on which the company has received all of the necessary information and documents, and the Go for 100 initiative in Germany, aimed at reducing repair costs and improving service to clients through partnership agreements with authorized body shops and companies specializing in windscreen repair and replacement;
  • increased number of fully comprehensive policyholders in Italy and related claims, the management of which is generally is more efficient, which mitigates the increased time taken to settle injury claims, the instrumental proof of which has recently been made compulsory by law;
  • the reorganization of claims in France in the last quarter of 2012, which has allowed the identification of practices ready for settlement.

For a proper evaluation of the settlement efficiency of the various companies in the different countries, more precise data on the nature of the risks insured across the various business lines (not currently available) would be necessary along with the types of claims to be settled, which would require a potentially lengthy technical assessment of the injury suffered.

Services for life insurance policyholders

The Group companies' life line of business also reached significant levels in terms of the amounts paid out to policyholders (or their beneficiaries) as a result of maturing policies or claims (death, permanent disability, etc.).

of claims
Sums paid for claims
(thousand Euros)
Number of
expiring policies
Sums paid for expiring policies
(thousand euros)
Italy 15,084 15,046 330,627 389,876 251,871 227,966 3,916,169 4,510,866
Austria 3,068 2,932 38,934 37,015 49,918 39,017 592,561 564,334
Czech Republic 166,847 206,849 72,080 76,798 132,060 116,076 207,020 185,867
France 70,506 74,006 1,591,845 1,957,108 0 0 631,336 710,125
Germany 73,976 70,719 484,373 500,460 504,612 468,293 4,673,569 4,165,011
Spain 3,906 3,796 106,423 93,794 28,073 27,670 930,411 812,169
Switzerland 3,380 2,891 67,717 66,013 7,087 7,255 248,644 248,613
TOTAL 336,767 376,239 2,691,999 3,121,064 973,621 886,277 11,199,710 11,196,985
  • In 2012, over 1.2 million life insurance policies were settled, with a decrease of 3.7% over the previous year mainly due to the reduction in the number of maturing policies (-9%) accounting for more than 70% of policies settled, while the number of claims increased by 11.7%.
  • In the life insurance segment, payments to policyholders/beneficiaries totalled over 14.3 billion euros (+3.1% compared to 2011); most payments were related to maturing savings policies, for which a total of nearly 11.2 billion euros was settled with a majority (86.6%) of lump sum payments. Payments for claims relating to death or permanent disability due to illness amounted to over 3.1 billion euros.

Insurance complaints

The Group's insurance companies manage complaints by applying the relevant internal procedures, in full compliance with existing regulations in the countries in which they operate.

To facilitate dialogue, multiple channels have been established through which reports may be submitted, as indicated in the contract terms and on the various Group websites. Clients may submit a complaint by letter, fax, telephone or email or by filling out the relevant form in the 'contact us' section of some company websites. All Group companies have put the necessary organization in place to manage complaints and use similar procedures to coordinate the various activities and define their commitments, objectives and responsibilities. In general, each company has an organizational unit that is responsible for complaints management and the monitoring of processing activities, working with the various business units and preparing periodic reports for Top Management.

Italy 30,270 30,426 9,717 9,618 32.1% 31.6%
Austria 1,110 679 1,001 623 90.2% 91.8%
Czech Republic 9,948 9,460 4,731 4,528 47.6% 47.9%
France 3,226 3,504 1,224 1,093 37.9% 31.2%
Germany 101,793 114,392 58,150 69,447 57.1% 60.7%
Spain 3,585 4,151 406 560 11.3% 13.5%
Switzerland 86 96 26 36 30.2% 37.5%
TOTAL 150,018 162,708 75,255 85,905 50.2% 52.8%
  • The data for the Czech Republic do not include information relating to Generali Pojišt'ovna, which is not available.
  • In 2012, the number of complaints received by the Group's insurance companies increased by 8.5%, continuing the upward trend of last two years, but to a much lower extent.
    The incidence of complaints received is 20.5 for every 10,000 policies taken out, which is reduced to 10.8 if we consider only accepted complaints, i.e. those for which the validity of the complaint has been acknowledged. It should be noted that, while recording an increase of 14.1% over the previous year, accepted complaints account for a little over half of those submitted (52.8%). Furthermore, although growing at an overall level, the number of complaints received in some countries has declined sharply during the year: 37.8% in Austria and 10.7% in France.
  • Accepted complaints are highly concentrated in geographical terms: 80.8% of them relate to Germany where, in addition to claims, dissatisfaction/malfunction reports are also recorded.


Therefore, in the case of Germany and also in Spain, the increase in complaints is not mainly due to growing customer dissatisfaction, but rather to the increased openness of companies to listening and trying to resolve the problems and inefficiencies reported by clients.

In the majority of cases (93%), complaints are made by the policyholder/insured party, while only 7% of complaints are made by the injured party/beneficiary.

Considering the main reasons for complaints, over half (57.6%; 71.8% in Germany) relate to administrative activities, mainly due to shortcomings in the service provided, difficulties experienced by clients in understanding the contractual documentation and/or statements, and excessively long processing times. 29% of complaints relate to settlements, where grievances were primarily due to payment delays or what were perceived to be insufficient amounts reimbursed. Settlements represent the area with the majority of dissatisfied clients in Switzerland (94.8%), Spain (64.2%), Italy (59.6%) and France (57.1%) while, in Austria, only 1.8% of complaints relate to that area. Overall, the underwriting area received the fewest complaints (13.4% of the total, with a peak of 42.1% in Austria and 35.8% in France), relating mainly to inefficiencies in the service offered by the sales staff and client expectations of products not being met.

Insurance disputes

As at 31 December 2012, in the countries in the Sustainability Report area, the Group was involved in 152,495 disputes relating to its insurance business, all of which are currently in different phases of resolution. The number of disputes includes passive litigation, in which the Generali Group companies are the defendants, and cases where Group companies have initiated proceedings.

CountryNumber of disputesValue of disputes (thousand euros)
Italy 54,230 57,943 3,054,803 3,176,344
Austria 2,944 2,944 117,057 127,456
Czech Republic 1,838 1,889 89,199 85,250
France 3,845 3,600 254,116 233,169
Germany 13,870 13,742 261,651 351,118
Spain 18,460 20,950 265,688 267,587
Switzerland 153 129 34,179 35,012
TOTAL 95,340 101,197 4,076,692 4,275,937
  • The number of pending passive disputes, totalling 101,197, increased by 6.1%, mainly due to motor insurance disputes (accounting for 65.7%) and, to a lesser extent, general liability risks (21%).
  • In the motor LoB, an increase of 8.3% was recorded, while disputes relating to general liability risks decreased by 2.9%.
  • With regard to the value of disputes, herein taken to be the amount requested by claimants, there was an overall increase of 4.9% due to the increase in general liability risks (+4.5%) while the value of disputes related to the motor LoB fell by 3.3%.