Worldwide growth in insurance premiums has slowed to 1.4 percent from 2.5 percent in 2012, largely due to weak life sales in advanced markets.
Swiss Re’s Sigma study found that life premium growth slowed to 0.7 percent from 2.3 percent, primarily due to weak sales in North America and the advanced Asian markets offsetting a strong performance in Western Europe, Oceania and most emerging markets.
In the US, life sales shrank by 7.7 percent due to the non-recurrence of large corporate deals which had boosted group annuity business in 2012.
Non-life growth slowed in 2013 to 2.3 percent, from 2.7 percent in 2012.
Fortunately, emerging market growth remained robust in the non-life sector at 8.3 percent, although even that fell a percentage point, down from 9.3 percent in 2013.
Global non-life premiums reached $2,033 billion in 2014, with the market looking to emerging economies to buoy up results.
Mahesh Puttaiah, one of the authors of the study, said: "As people get wealthier and acquire more physical assets to protect, for example vehicles, they spend more on non-life insurance products. That is what is happening in many emerging Asian countries."
In India, however, non-life sales growth slowed to 4.1 percent from 8.9 percent in 2012, due to a slower economy and weaker business sentiment.
As for the advanced markets, premium growth was just 1.1 percent in 2013, down from 1.5 percent the previous year. This was mainly due to a still-depressed market in Western Europe, with premiums down 0.3 percent due to the weak economic environment.
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Swiss Re, Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, Mahesh Puttaiah