Actuarial reserve

A reserve calculated according to mathematical principles for future insurance payments in the life and health insurance areas. In the health insurance area, this is also referred to as an ageing reserve.

Administrative expenses

Administrative expenses for retained insurance business are broken down into acquisition expenses, and other administrative expenses, less reinsurance commissions and profit commissions for reinsurance cessions. Expenses for loss investigation, loss prevention, and claims processing (claims settlement expenses) or for making insurance payments (settlement costs) are shown in the expenses for claims and insurance benefits item.

Affiliated companies

The parent company and its subsidiaries are considered to be affiliated companies if the parent company is able to exert control over the business policies of the subsidiary. Examples of this are where the parent company directly or indirectly holds more than half of all voting rights, a controlling agreement exists, or it is possible to appoint the majority of the members of the managing board or other management body of the subsidiary (§ 244 UGB).

ALM (Asset and Liability Management)

ALM refers to the continuous matching of corporate assets and liabilities. It ensures that promised payments are covered by achievable returns. ALM serves as a management instrument for developing a strategy with which financial goals can be achieved within prescribed risk limits.

Assets under management

Total investments measured at fair value that are under management by the Group and where the Group is responsible for investment performance.

Cash flow

A key figure used in the analysis of shares and companies. It represents the inflow and outflow of liquid assets during a specific accounting period. Cash flow is essentially calculated by adding together the annual profit, depreciation, changes in long-term provisions, and income taxes.

Cash flow statement

A presentation of the changes in cash and cash equivalents during a financial year, broken down into the three areas of ordinary activities, investing activities, and financing activities. The aim is to provide information on the financial strength of the company.

Ceded reinsurance premiums

Share of the premiums to which the reinsurer is entitled in return for reinsuring certain risks.

CEE (Central and Eastern Europe)

Vienna Insurance Group defines the “CEE” region as all the growth markets in Central and Eastern Europe in which the Group operates. This includes the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine. Note that differences may exist between this definition and the definition of CEE used by other companies, financial institutions (e.g. IMF, OECD, WIFO, IHS), etc.

Combined ratio (net)

When the total of all items in the income statement that contribute to the profit before taxes, except for income from investments and the value of gross earned premiums itself, is divided by gross earned premiums, the result is called the combined ratio. If this ratio is less than 100%, the company is earning a profit from the underwriting portion of the business. This ratio is only calculated for property and casualty insurance. Since the reinsurers’ share is taken into account in the calculation, the result is a net combined ratio.


The financial statements of the parent company and those of the subsidiaries are combined when the consolidated financial statements are prepared by the parent company. During this process, intragroup equity interests, interim profits/losses, payables and receivables, and income and expenses are eliminated.

Core markets

Collective term for the ten VIG markets Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, and Ukraine.

Deposits on assumed and ceded reinsurance business

A claim by the reinsuring company against the ceding company for deposits that it retains. When business is assumed, the reinsurer's share of premiums and claims are retained as security by the ceding insurance company. The deposits on ceded reinsurance item is analogous.

Derivative financial instruments (derivatives)

Financial contracts whose value depends on the price of an underlying asset. Derivatives can be classified systematically according to the nature of the underlying asset (interest rates, share prices, exchange rates, or commodity prices). Options, futures, forwards and swaps are important examples of derivative financial instruments.

Direct business

Insurance business where a direct legal relationship exists between the insurer and policyholder.

Earned premiums

The portion of premiums written which is allocated to the current financial year.

Earnings per share (basic/diluted)

The ratio of consolidated annual profit divided by the average number of shares outstanding. The diluted earnings per share include convertible securities that have been exercised, or are still available for exercise, in the calculation of the number of shares and annual profit. The convertible securities consist of convertible bonds and stock options.

Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)

Risk and opportunity management. The responsibilities of ERM are identification, assessment, analysis and control of opportunities and risks.

Equity method

Shares in associated companies are recognised using this method. As a rule, the value recognised corresponds to the Group’s share of the shareholders’ equity of these companies. In the case of shares in companies that prepare their own consolidated financial statements, the consolidated shareholders’ equity is used instead. For ongoing measurement, the value recognised is adjusted using the Group’s share of changes to shareholders’ equity, with the share of profit for the period being allocated to consolidated profit for the period and paid profit distributions deducted.

Erste Group

An abbreviated version of the company name for Erste Group Bank AG.

Expenses for claims and insurance benefits

These are comprised of the payments for insured events, payments for loss investigation, claims settlement, and loss prevention, and from the change in the associated provisions.

Fair value

Value for security calculated using a theoretical pricing model that takes into account factors on which the price depends.

FATCA – Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is part of the tax legislation package that came into effect in the United States (US) in 2010. FATCA is aimed at preventing tax evasion by US taxpayers receiving income from foreign financial institutions. FATCA requires foreign financial institutions to enter into an agreement with the US tax authorities that obligates them to disclose all material data on their US clients to the US tax authorities.

Financial instruments available for sale

Financial instruments available for sale include financial instruments that are not intended to be held to maturity, or for short-term trading purposes. They are recognised at market value as of the balance sheet date.

Financial result

Income and expenses for investments and interest. This includes, for example, income from securities, loans, real estate and participations, as well as bank interest, and expenses incurred in the financial area, such as depreciation on owned real estate, writedowns of securities to listed market prices, bank fees, etc.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

A measure of a country’s economic production. All goods and services produced or provided within a country (by citizens or foreigners) during a specified period, valued at current prices (market prices) or constant prices (prices in a certain base year). By using a constant price level in the calculations, price increases can be eliminated so that the figures presented over time are independent of inflation. GDP at constant prices is also known as real GDP.


In insurance terminology, “gross/net” means before or after reinsurance has been deducted (“net” is also used to mean “for own account” or “retention”). In connection with income from participations, the term “net” is used when corresponding expenses have been deducted from income (e.g., write-downs and losses from sale). Therefore, (net) income from participations equals the profit or loss from these interests.


International Accounting Standards


International Financial Reporting Standards. Since 2002, the designation IFRS has stood for the overall framework of all standards adopted by the International Accounting Standards Board. Previously adopted standards continue to be referred to as International Accounting Standards (IAS).

Income from investments and interest income

Income from investments and other interest income is comprised of income from equity interests (from associated companies), income from land and buildings, income from other investments, income from reversals of write-downs, gains from the sale of investments, and other income from investments and interest income.

Incurred but not reported losses

Losses that are reported in the current financial year but occurred in the previous year. Each year as of the balance sheet date, a reserve (= incurred but not reported reserve, IBNR) is formed for losses that relate to the financial statement year but are not reported until the following year.

Indirect business

Insurance business where the company acts as a reinsurer.

Insurance density

Annual per capita insurance premiums, used as an indicator for the state of development of a country’s insurance sector.

Insurance payments (net)

Expenses (less reinsurance) for insured events.

Insurance supervisory authority

The Austrian insurance supervisory authority is a part of the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) that was established as an independent authority in April 2002. Its supervision extends to private-sector insurance companies with registered offices in Austria.


KPMG Austria AG Wirtschaftsprüfungs- und Steuerberatungsgesellschaft changed its legal form from a stock corporation (Aktiengesellschaft) to a limited liability company (GmbH). As a result, when the change was registered in the commercial register on 22 August 2014, the name of the company changed from KPMG Austria AG Wirtschaftsprüfungs- und Steuerberatungsgesellschaft to KPMG Austria GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungs- und Steuerberatungsgesellschaft.

Loss reserve

A reserve for losses that have already been incurred but have not yet been settled. The losses can be divided into two categories: reserves for losses that are known but not yet settled, and reserves for losses that have been incurred but have not yet been reported, or the correct amount has not been reported (“IBNR”, “IBNER”).

Market capitalisation

Stock exchange value or market capitalisation means the value of a stock corporation calculated by multiplying the current stock exchange price by the total number of shares issued.

Market value

The value of an asset on the balance sheet that can be realised by selling it in the market to a third party.


Non-life insurance includes the property and casualty insurance and health insurance segments.

Present value

Current value of a cash amount to be received in the future, calculated by discounting with a known discount rate.


Derivative financial instruments which entitle, but do not obligate, the buyer to purchase (call option) or sell (put option) an underlying asset at a future point in time for a specified price. In contrast, the seller of the option is obligated to deliver or purchase the asset and receives a premium for providing the option.

Organic growth

Organic growth means the growth of a company resulting from the company’s own financial strength. Such growth is therefore not the result of purchasing other companies.

Personal insurance

Comprised of life, health and casualty insurance.

PIIGS countries

The abbreviation PIIGS is made up of the initial letters of the European countries that are feeling particularly heavy pressure due to the Eurozone debt crisis: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain.


Agreed fee paid in exchange for assumption of risk by an insurance company.

Premium refund (profit-dependent)

The policyholder’s profit participation in the profit of the insurance line of business in question (mandatory for traditional life insurance).

Premium refund (profit-independent)

Contractually awarded refund of premiums to the policyholder.

Premiums written

In direct business, premiums written are comprised of the set premiums, not including insurance tax or fire brigade charges, plus policyholder additional payments, reduced by premiums cancelled during the financial year. In indirect business, the premiums written correspond to the premiums that the ceding insurer has indicated for writing. In co-insurance business, the premiums written by each co-insurer correspond to the share of premiums allotted to it.

Price-earnings ratio

A financial ratio for evaluating shares. The price-earnings ratio (P/E ratio) is the ratio of the price of the share to the earnings per share in a reference period or the expected earnings per share in a future period. If the reference period is defined as one year, the price-earnings ratio is the end-of-year price divided by the earnings per share for the year.

Profit participation

See premium refund (profit-dependent).

Provision for unearned premiums

The portion of premiums written that were specified for the period following the balance sheet date and are therefore not included in the income for the financial year. These premiums are used to cover obligations arising after the balance sheet date.


A rating is an evaluation of the creditworthiness of a debtor (countries, companies, etc.) often carried out by a specialised rating agency. The evaluation is expressed as a kind of grading. It is very similar to a school grading system. The rating systems of the agencies use different grading steps and their own symbols.


Reinsurance is when an insurance company insures a portion of its risk with another insurance company.

Retained earnings

Retained earnings are the profits generated by the company that have not been distributed as dividends.

Return on equity (RoE)

Profit before taxes divided by average shareholders’ equity, calculated using values at the beginning and end of the year.

Securities held to maturity

Securities held to maturity comprise debt securities that are intended to be held to maturity, and can be held to maturity. They are measured at cost upon initial recognition, which is equal to fair value at the time of acquisition. Subsequent measurement is at amortised cost. A write-down is recognised in profit or loss in the case of permanent impairment.

Segment reporting

Presentation of the consolidated financial statements broken down by the property and casualty insurance, life insurance, and health insurance lines of business and by region.

Single premium

A special type of premium payment used for life insurance. A (high) amount is paid as a single premium at the start of the policy.

Solvency II

Solvency II is a fundamental reform of insurance supervisory law in Europe, particularly solvency regulations relating to the capital adequacy of insurance companies. Solvency II is intended to create methods for the risk-based management of the total solvency of insurance companies. The current static system for determining capital adequacy is replaced by a risk-based system, which goes beyond the current capital adequacy provisions of the Austrian Insurance Supervision Act to also take into account, in particular, qualitative factors (e.g. internal risk management).

Standard & Poor’s

Standard & Poor’s is an internationally recognised rating agency. It analyses and evaluates companies, countries and bonds, among other things. It uses its own rating scale, which ranges from AAA for the highest category to CC for the lowest when rating the financial strength of insurance companies. The ratings can be modified by adding a plus or minus sign.

Stress test

Stress tests are a special form of scenario analysis. The objective is to arrive at a quantitative assessment of the potential losses incurred by portfolios in the event of extreme market fluctuations.


Austrian Commercial Code (Unternehmensgesetzbuch) in effect as of 1 January 2007 (the previous Austrian Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch - HGB) was in effect until 31 December 2006).


Underwriters are responsible for evaluating risks in the insurance industry, and have the authority to underwrite risks. An underwriter estimates the probability and size of a loss as precisely as possible, calculates insurance premiums and establishes policy terms.

Underwriting provisions

These consist of the provision for outstanding claims, actuarial reserve, provisions for unearned premiums, provisions for profit-dependent and profit-independent premium refunds, the equalisation provision, and other underwriting provisions.

Unit-linked and index-linked life insurance

Insurance policies where the investment is made at the policyholder's risk. The investments in this area are measured at fair value, with the underwriting reserves shown at the value of the investments.


The Austrian Insurance Supervision Act (Versicherungsaufsichtsgesetz) includes provisions governing the organization and supervision of insurance companies.

Value-at-risk (VaR)

Value-at-risk is a procedure used to calculate potential losses arising from price changes affecting the trading position. This loss potential is expressed using a specific confidence limit (e.g. 98%), and is calculated based on market-related price changes.


Fluctuations in security prices, exchange rates, and interest rates.

Vienna Insurance Group (VIG)

When Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) is mentioned, generally the Group as a whole is meant. If a statement refers only to the activities of the Group holding company, the word “Holding” is added at the end of the name.