Commercial insurance premiums in the US amounted to $237 billion in 2010, making it the largest commercial insurance market in the world, according to the latest Swiss Re Sigma study.
The study found that a major differentiating factor, besides the size of the US economy, was the size of the US workers' compensation and employers' liability market. Outside the US, workers' compensation or employers' liability covers are often nationalised or part of the social security system.
The study found that Japan is the second-largest commercial insurance market, with $35 billion in premiums, while China is the third largest market with $31 billion in premiums.
"Commercial insurance in high-growth markets such as China benefits not only from an expanding economy, but also from increasing penetration, so premiums tend to grow faster than the economy," says Kurt Karl, chief economist of Swiss Re.
In the last decade, commercial insurance premiums in emerging markets grew an average of 14 percent per year, expanding two to three times faster than in advanced markets, which grew at 5.4 percent.
Commercial insurance premiums, Swiss Re, Sigma study