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Global insurance premiums surpass USD 5 trillion in 2018

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Global insurance premiums passed the USD 5 trillion mark for the first time in 2018, equivalent to more than 6% of world gross domestic product (GDP) according to the July 2019 issue of sigma, “World insurance: the great pivot east continues”, from Swiss Re Institute.

This surge was based on solid growth in the non-life sector, especially in China and other emerging Asian countries, as well as in advanced markets. Emerging markets are also forecast to lead the growth of global insurance premiums by 3% in real terms in 2019 and 2020, while life premiums will increase by 2.9%, well above the 0.6% annual average of the previous 10-years, with a bounce back in China the main driver.

In non-life, global premiums are forecast to grow by 3%, with emerging Asia taking the lead, supported by solid growth in advanced markets. China will contribute most to life and non-life premium growth over the next two years, and its share of global premiums will reach 20% by 2029, up from around 11% currently.

China To Be the Largest Insurance Market in 15 Years

According to Swiss Re, China remains on course to surpass the US as the largest insurance market by the mid-2030s. With the growing importance of the market in China, Swiss Re Institute announce the opening of its Swiss Re Institute China Centre in Beijing.

Global non-life premium growth was solid at 3% in 2018, outpacing the historic average (2.2%) as advanced markets slowed and emerging markets grew. In China, non-life premiums rose by 12%, driven by strong increases in personal accident and health insurance.

This was accompanied by a solid performance in emerging Asia overall. Growth in the global life sector was subdued due to shrinking markets in Europe, China and Latin America.

The English, German, French, and Spanish versions of sigma 3/2019, “World insurance: the great pivot east continues”, are available electronically on the Swiss Re Institute’s website.

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