Advanced markets drive growth in non-life: Swiss Re
Stronger performance in the non-life sector largely in more developed markets drove premium growth in 2014, as the global insurance industry gained momentum.
This is the finding of Swiss Re’s latest sigma study, which added that total direct premiums written were up 3.7 percent in 2014 to $4.8 trillion after having stagnated the previous year.
Global non-life premiums increased by 2.9 percent in 2014 to $2.124 trillion, slightly higher than the 2.7 percent growth rate of 2013. North America saw significant improvement of 2.6 percent and Western Europe returned to slow growth of 0.6 percent after years of decline and stagnation.
However, in what the report calls “advanced Asia” premiums grew by 1.7 percent, which was less than in 2013, and emerging markets continued their robust premium growth trend of 8 percent.
The report also included a chapter on the stagnation of non-life premiums in Western Europe since 2007.
“Private medical insurance premiums have been the bright spot, continuing to grow robustly throughout Europe,” said the report. “But premium growth in the southern peripheral countries in particular has been very weak since the financial crisis and, by line of business, casualty (especially motor) has contracted sharply.”
It added that the past seven years are not a benchmark for upcoming growth performance in the European non-life markets.
“The economic environment, though still weak, is likely to continue to improve, and when unemployment falls, non-life premiums, including motor, will recover," said Daniel Staib, co-author of the report.