2009 annual result marked by the difficult environment

In spite of the challenging conditions, the Sympany Group has attracted new policyholders. Sympany, like the industry in general, has been affected by inadequate premiums, and its 2009 annual report shows a reduction in reserves of CHF 28.3 million. The company nevertheless enjoys a solid capital position; none of the brands of the Sympany Group will need to increase premiums during the year.

Basel, 11 May 2010 – The acquisition of Xundheit and the transfer of the supplementary insurance portfolio from ÖKK to Sympany Versicherungen AG significantly change the picture both on the balance sheet and in the profit and loss account.

Well financed; no premium increases during the year

Including intermediated business, gross premium volume of the Sympany Group grew by around 14 per cent to CHF 894 million. The increase was partly attributable to the integration of Xundheit. The insurance benefits across all lines grew by 15 per cent to CHF 812 million. The unsatisfactory annual result of CHF -28.3 million is mainly attributable to the negative underwriting result, which itself was primarily caused by high inflation in healthcare and inadequate premiums in basic insurance. CEO Beat Ochsner comments on the annual result: "Despite the loss, the Sympany Group still has a strong level of reserves and is well financed. The reserves held by our biggest brand, Vivao Sympany, are around 15 per cent. Relative to the sector, Vivao Sympany has retained its strong position. The reserves for the Sympany Group as a whole are around 20 per cent. None of the brands of the Sympany Group will need to increase premiums during the year."

Ralph Lewin, Chairman of the Foundation Board, on the annual result: "The hope that the government would soon implement stringent measures to contain these cost rises was unfortunately dashed in both of the last two years. We hope that appropriate measures are now moving in the right direction. The industry could not endure a further sustained period of drawing down reserves."

More than 10,000 new private customers

Awareness of the Sympany brand increased significantly and measurably last year. The number of private customers also increased, growing from 196,330 to 231,114 (up 17.7 per cent). As of 2010 and without taking Xundheit into account, Sympany had gained more than 10,000 net new private customers. "This shows us that the Sympany Group is perceived as an attractive and interesting partner," says Beat Ochsner.

Growth in corporate customer business

The number of corporate customers also increased, rising from 7,462 to 9,991 (up 33.9 per cent). The growth in the number of customers and in premium volume is a result of both internal growth and the integration of Xundheit. Premium volume grew by 21 per cent to CHF 417 million in 2009; excluding Xundheit the increase was approximately 5 per cent. Sympany corporate customer business profited from good loss experience in comparison with the rest of the sector – thanks not least to its well-structured case management system.

Positive financial result

Sympany achieved a very positive financial result in 2009, registering a performance of around 10 percent. This positive result is only partially reflected in the financial statements due to the use of the lower of cost or market value principle in the accounts in accordance with the Swiss Code of Obligations.

Sympany expects effective systems of control from the government

Ralph Lewin, Chairman of the Foundation Board, on the 2009 financial year: "With costs set to rise further and political debate still under way, the health insurance environment remains uncertain. Nevertheless, the Sympany Group takes responsibility towards policyholders very seriously, and we are continually working to optimise our costs. This sometimes requires investment, however. We are taking active steps to reduce the costs of medical care, such as by expanding the range of managed-care products we offer. In return, we expect the government to demonstrate openness to new product ideas and effective systems of control which offer the right incentives for the different players in the healthcare sector."

 

Press release: 2009 annual result marked by the difficult environment (PDF, 25 KB)