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Accident Insurance

Statutory work accident insurance offers protection against the occurrence of and the consequences of accidents at work and occupational diseases. In 2019, a total of around 6.5 million persons (73 percent) were covered by statutory accident insurance in Austria.

From a historical perspective, accident insurance can be viewed as superseding employer’s liability, and is thus a form of liability insurance taken out by employers for their employees. This also explains why, in the case of employees, it is only their employers who pay contributions, and why statutory accident insurance only covers those accidents and diseases which are directly linked to their employment.

The self-employed pay their contributions themselves. Pupils and students as well as members of aid organisations and rescuers are also covered by accident insurance, but without having to pay their own contributions.

Statutory accident insurance is thus not responsible for providing benefits for accidents which take place in a person’s private life. However, in such cases, those affected do receive benefits and services from statutory health and pension insurance.

The social accident insurance institutions

The General Accident Insurance Institution (AUVA) is responsible for accident insurance for blue-collar and salaried employees as well as pupils and students.

Self-employed businesspersons and self-employed farmers and foresters and their family members who work with them are insured with the Social Insurance Institution of the Self-Employed (SVS).

Civil servants and contracted public-sector employees of the federal government, the provinces and local authorities (unless they belong to an accident institution established at a provincial level) as well as civil servants of the Austrian Federal Railways, railway workers in general and employees of Vienna Transport are insured with the Insurance Institution of Public-Sector Workers, Railways  and Mining (BVAEB). 

Benefits and services from statutory accident insurance

The accident insurance system carries out preventive work in the following fields: 

  • the prevention of work accidents and occupational diseases;
  • first aid in cases of work accidents and occupational diseases;
  • medical treatment in the case of accidents;
  •  the rehabilitation of disabled persons;
  • compensation after work accidents and occupational diseases;
  • the payment of pensions;
  • subsidies for continued pay;
  • research on the most effective methods and means of fulfilling these tasks, and
  • the fulfilment of other tasks in the field of the occupational medical care of the insured.

Benefits from statutory accident insurance in 2019

In 2019, 177,000 insured events were recognised (of which 55,000 were accidents involving pupils and students). The insured events can be subdivided into 160,000 work accidents in a narrower sense, around 16,000 accidents which occurred on the way to or from work or school/university, and 1,400 cases of occupational diseases.

As at December 2019, around 93,000 pensions were being paid. Of these, around 80,000 were for invalidity pensions and around 13,000 for pensions for surviving dependants.

last update: 3 December 2020