Balance sheet - Assets

Intangible assets | Tangible assetsi | Amounts ceded to reinsurers from insurance provisions | Investments | Receivables | Other assetsCash and cash equivalents

Intangible assets

In accordance with IAS 38, an intangible asset is recognised if, and only if, it is identifiable and controllable and it is probable that the expected future economic benefits attributable to the asset will flow to the company and the cost of the asset can be measured reliably.

This category includes goodwill and other intangible assets, such as goodwill recognised in the separate financial statements of the consolidated companies, software and purchased insurance portfolio.

1.1 - Goodwill

Goodwill is the sum of future benefits not separately identifiable in a business combination. At the acquisition date, the goodwill is equal to the excess between the sum of the price transferred and the fair value of non-controlling interests as well as, in a business combination achieved in stages, the fair value of the acquirers’s  previously held equity instruments by the purchaser and the net value of assets and liabilities acquired separately identifiable.

After initial recognition, goodwill is measured at cost less any impairment losses and it is no longer amortised. According to IAS 36, goodwill is not subject to amortization. Realized gains and losses on investments in subsidiaries include the related goodwill. Goodwill is tested at least annually in order to identify any impairment losses.

The purpose of the impairment test on goodwill is to identify the existence of any impairment losses on the carrying amount recognised as intangible asset. In this context, cash-generating units to which the goodwill is allocated are identified and tested for impairment. Cash-generating units (CGU) units usually represent the consolidated units within the same primary segment in each country. Any impairment is equal to the difference, if negative, between the carrying amount and the recoverable amount, which is the higher between the fair value of the cash-generating unit and its value in use, i.e. the present value of the future cash flows expected to be derived from the cash-generating units. The fair value of the CGU is determined on the basis of current market quotation or usually adopted valuation techniques (mainly DDM or appraisal value based on EBS). The Dividend Discount Model is a variant of the Cash flow method. In particular the Dividend Discount Model, in the excess capital methodology, states that the economic value of an entity is equal to the discounted dividends flow calculated considering the minimum capital requirements. Such models are based on projections on budgets/forecasts approved by management or conservative or prudential assumptions covering a maximum period of five years. Cash flow projections for a period longer than five years are extrapolated using estimated among others growth rates. The discount rates reflect the free risk rate, adjusted to take into account specific risks.

Should any previous impairment losses no longer exist, they cannot be reversed. For further details see paragraph 1.1 – Goodwill in the section Notes to the balance sheet.

1.2 -  Other intangible assets

Intangible assets with finite useful life are measured at acquisition or production cost less any accumulated amortisation and impairment losses. The amortisation is based on the useful life and begins when the asset is available for use. Specifically, the purchased software expenses are capitalised on the basis of the cost for purchase and usage. The costs related to their development and maintenance are charged to the profit and loss account of the period in which they are incurred.

Other intangible assets with indefinite useful life are not subject to amortization. They are periodically tested for impairment.

1.2.1 Contractual relations with customers - insurance contracts acquired in a business combination or portfolio transfer

In case of acquisition of life and non-life insurance contract portfolios in a business combination or portfolio transfer, the Group recognises an intangible asset, i.e. the value of the acquired contractual relationships (Value Of Business Acquired).

The VOBA is the present value of the pre-tax future profit arising from the contracts in force at the purchase date, taking into account the probability of renewals of the one year contracts in the non-life segment. The related deferred taxes are accounted for as liabilities in the consolidated balance sheet.

The VOBA is amortized over the effective life of the contracts acquired, by using an amortization pattern reflecting the expected future profit recognition. Assumptions used in the development of the VOBA amortization pattern are consistent with the ones applied in its initial measurement. The amortization pattern is reviewed on a yearly basis to assess its reliability and, if applicable, to verify the consistency with the assumptions used in the valuation of the corresponding insurance provisions.

The difference between the fair value of the insurance contracts acquired in a business combination or a portfolio transfer, and the insurance liabilities measured in accordance with the acquirer’s accounting policies for the insurance contracts that it issues, is recognised as intangible asset and amortized over the period in which the acquirer recognises the corresponding profits.
The Generali Group applies this accounting treatment to the insurance liabilities assumed in the acquisition of life and non-life insurance portfolios. Therefore, the assumed insurance liabilities are recognized in the balance sheet according to the acquirer’s accounting policies for the insurance contracts that it issues. These intangible assets are not in the scope of IAS 38 and IAS 36.
The future VOBA recoverable amount is nonetheless tested on yearly basis.
As for as the life and non-life portfolios, the recoverable amount of the value of the in force business acquired is carried out through the liability adequacy test (LAT) of the insurance provisions — mentioned in the paragraph 3.2 and 3.3 of insurance provisions— taking into account, if any, the deferred acquisition costs recognised in the balance sheet. If any, the impairment losses are recognised in the profit or loss account and cannot be reversed in a subsequent period.

Similar criteria are applied for the initial recognition, the amortization and the impairment test of other contractual relationships arising from customer lists of asset management sector, acquired in a business combination where the acquiree belongs to the financial segment.

Tangible assets

This item comprises land and buildings used for own activities and other tangible assets.

2.1 – Land and buildings (self used)

In accordance with IAS 16, this item includes land and buildings used for own activities. Land and buildings (self used) are measured applying the cost model set out by IAS 16.
The cost of the self used property comprises purchase price and any directly attributable expenditure. The depreciation is systematically calculated applying specific economic/technical rates which are determined locally in accordance with the residual value over the useful economic life of each individual component of the property.
Land and buildings (self used) are measured at cost less any accumulated depreciation and impairment losses. Land and agricultural properties are not depreciated but periodically tested for impairment losses. Costs, which determine an increase in value, in the functionality or in the expected useful life of the asset, are directly charged to the assets to which they refer and depreciated in accordance with the residual value over the assets’ useful economic life. Cost of the day-to-day servicing are charged to the profit and loss account.

Finance leases of land and buildings are accounted for in conformity with IAS 17 and require that the overall cost of the leasehold property is recognised as a tangible asset and, as a counter-entry, the present value of the minimum lease payments and the redemption cost of the asset are recognised as a financial liability.

2.2 – Other tangible assets

Property, plant, equipment, furniture and property inventories are classified in this item as property inventory. They are initially measured at cost and subsequently recognised net of any accumulated depreciation and impairment losses. They are systematically depreciated on the basis of economic/technical rates determined in accordance with their residual value over their useful economic life.

Amounts ceded to reinsurers from insurance provisions

The item comprises amounts ceded to reinsurers from insurance provisions that fall under IFRS 4 scope. They are accounted for in accordance with the accounting principles applied to direct insurance contracts.

Investments

4.1 – Land and buildings (investment properties)

In accordance with IAS 40, this item includes land and buildings held to earn rentals or for capital appreciation or both. Land and buildings for own activities and property inventories are instead classified as tangible assets. Furthermore, assets for which the sale is expected to be completed within one year are classified as non-current assets or disposal groups classified as held for sale.

To measure the value of land and buildings (investment properties), the Generali Group applies the cost model set out by IAS 40, and adopts the depreciation criteria defined by IAS 16. Please refer to the paragraph on land and buildings (self used) for information about criteria used by the Group and finance leases of land and buildings.

4.2 – Investments in subsidiaries, associated companies and joint ventures

This item includes investments in subsidiaries and associated companies valued at equity or at cost. Immaterial investments in subsidiaries and associated companies, as well as investments in associated companies and interests in joint ventures valued using the equity method belong to this category.

A list of such investments is shown in attachment to this Consolidated financial statement.

4.3 – Held to maturity investments

The category comprises the non-derivative financial assets with fixed or determinable payments and fixed maturity that a company has the positive intention and ability to hold to maturity, other than loans and receivables and those initially designated as at fair value through profit or loss or as available for sale. The intent and ability to hold investments to maturity must be demonstrated when initially acquired and at each reporting date. In the case of an early disposal (significant and not due to particular events) of said investments, any remaining investments must be reclassified as available for sale.
Held to maturity investments are accounted for at settlement date and measured at amortized cost using the effective interest rate method and considering any discounts or premiums obtained at the time of the acquisition which are accounted for over the remaining term to maturity.

The Generali Group limits the accounting of investments in this category.

4.4 – Loans and receivables

This category comprises non-derivative financial assets with fixed or determinable payments, not quoted in an active market. It does not include financial assets held for trading and those designated as at fair value through profit or loss or as available for sale upon initial recognition.
In detail, the Generali Group includes in this category some unquoted bonds, mortgage loans, policy loans, term deposits with credit institutions, deposits under reinsurance business accepted, repurchase agreements, receivables from banks or customers accounted for by companies of the financial segment, and the mandatory deposit reserve with the central bank.
The company’s trade receivables are instead classified as other receivables in the balance sheet.
Loans and receivables are accounted for at settlement date and measured at amortized cost using the effective interest rate method and considering any discounts or premiums obtained at the time of the acquisition which are accounted for over the remaining term to maturity. Gains or losses are recognised in the profit and loss account when the financial assets are derecognised or impaired as well as through the normal amortization process envisaged by the amortized cost principle.

4.5 – Available for sale financial assets

Available for sale financial assets are accounted for at the settlement date at the fair value at the related transaction dates, plus the transaction costs directly attributable to the acquisition.

The unrealized gains and losses on available for sale financial assets arising out of subsequent changes in value are recognised in other comprehensive income in a specific reserve until they are sold or impaired. At this time the cumulative gains or losses previously recognised in other comprehensive income are accounted for in the profit and loss account.

This category includes quoted and unquoted equities, investment fund units (IFU) not held for trading, nor designated as financial assets at fair value through profit or loss, and bonds, mainly quoted, designated as available for sale.

Interests on financial instruments available for sale are measured using the effective interest rate with impact on profit or loss. Dividends related to equities classified in this category are reported in profit or loss when the shareholder’s right to receive payment is established, which usually coincides with the shareholders' resolution.

4.6 – Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss

This category comprises financial assets held for trading, i.e. acquired mainly to be sold in a short term, and financial assets that upon initial recognition are designated as at fair value through profit or loss.

In particular both bonds and equities, mainly quoted, and all derivative assets, held for both trading and hedging purposes, for which the hedge accounting has not been applied, are included in this category.

Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss take also account of investments back to policies where the investment risk is borne by the policyholders and back to pension funds in order to significantly reduce the valuation mismatch between assets and related liabilities.

Structured instruments, whose embedded derivatives cannot be separated from the host contracts, are classified as financial assets at fair value through profit or loss.

The financial assets at fair value through profit or loss are accounted for at settlement date and are measured at fair value. Their unrealized and realized gains and losses at the end of the period are immediately accounted for in the profit and loss account.

Receivables

This item includes receivables arising out of direct insurance and reinsurance operations, and other receivables.

5.1 –5.2 –Receivables arising out of direct insurance and reinsurance operations

Receivables on premiums written in course of collection and receivables from intermediates and brokers, co-insurers and reinsurers are included in this item. They are accounted for at their fair value at acquisition date and subsequently at their presumed recoverable amounts.

5.3 – Other receivables

This item includes all other receivables, which have not an insurance or tax nature. They are accounted for at fair value at recognition and subsequently at their presumed recoverable amounts.

Other assets

Non-current assets or disposal groups classified as held for sale, deferred acquisition costs, tax receivables, deferred tax assets, and other assets are classified in this item.

6.1 – Non-current assets or disposal groups classified as held for sale

This item comprises non-current assets or disposal groups classified as held for sale under IFRS 5. They are recognized at cost and measured at the lower of their carrying amount and fair value less costs to sell.

6.2 – Deferred acquisition costs

In accordance with IFRS 4, deferred acquisition costs are accounted for in line with local GAAP. This item includes acquisition commissions and other expenses paid in advance at the subscription date directly or indirectly attributable to the acquisition or renewal contracts and deferrable over the term of the contracts.

6.3 – Deferred tax assets

Deferred tax assets are recognised ― except the cases provided in paragraph 24 of IAS 12 ― for all deductible temporary differences between the carrying amount of assets or liabilities and their tax base to the extent that it is probable that taxable income will be available, against which the deductible temporary differences can be utilised.

In the case of carryforward of unused tax losses and unused tax credits, deferred tax assets are recognised to the extent that it is probable that future taxable income will be available, against which the abovementioned unused tax losses or unused tax credits can be utilised.

Deferred tax assets are measured at the tax rates that are expected to be applied in the year when the asset is realized, based on information available at the reporting date.

6.4 – Tax receivables

Receivables related to current income taxes as defined and regulated by IAS 12 are classified in this item. They are accounted for based on the tax laws in force in the countries where the consolidated subsidiaries have their offices.

6.5 – Other assets

The item mainly includes accrued income and prepayments, specifically accrued interest from bonds. It also comprises deferred commissions for investment management service related to investment contracts.
Deferred fee and commission expenses include acquisition commissions related to investment contracts without DPF fair valued as provided for by IAS 39 as financial liabilities at fair value through profit or loss. Acquisition commissions related to these products are accounted for in accordance with the IAS 18 treatment of the investment management service component. They are recognised along the product life by reference to the stage of completion of the service rendered. Therefore, acquisition commissions are incremental costs recognised as assets, which is amortized throughout the whole policy term with a straight line approach, reasonably assuming that the management service is constantly rendered.
Deferred commissions for investment management services are amortized, after assessing their recoverability in accordance with IAS 36.

Cash and cash equivalents

Cash in hand and equivalent assets, cash and balances with banks payable on demand and with central banks are accounted for in this item at their carrying amounts.

Short-term, highly liquid investments that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash and which are subject to an insignificant risk of changes in value are included in this item. Investments are qualified as cash equivalents only when they have a short maturity of 3 months or less from the date of the acquisition.