As announced in the spring, Smile will first be marketed in Austria. The insurance market there is similar to that in Switzerland; it is digital but not yet well developed, however with people who are used to operating online. Helvetia is therefore taking its unique success model to other European markets, step by step. Philipp Gmür, CEO of the Helvetia Group, explains: "The internationalization of Smile is a further step towards Helvetia's development into a European financial services provider for insurance and pensions." The Smile Austria products will initially be distributed via durchblicker.at as an established partner. The product range will kick off with the household contents insurance smile.home and will be continuously expanded.
Smile is the leading Swiss online insurer and has continued to develop well: in 2021, Smile posted premium growth of 11.8% to CHF 111 million. The basis for Smile's success is its positioning as a digital lifestyle brand. For instance, in 2021, Smile was the first European insurer to launch a "freemium" model, allowing non-customers to also benefit from free services. After Austria, Helvetia is planning to launch Smile in Spain in 2023.