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Global insurance industry grows steadily in 2015

but outlook is mixed, Swiss Re sigma report says

Global insurance industry grows steadily in 2015 amidst moderate economic growth but outlook is mixed, Swiss Re sigma report says. 

• Global insurance premium growth increased to 3.8% in 2015 from 3.5% in 2014

• Life premium growth slowed to 4.0% in 2015 from 4.3% in 2014, due to weaker performance in advanced markets

• Non-life premiums were up 3.6% based on strong growth in advanced markets; emerging markets' performance was mixed

• Still-low interest rates weigh on profitability, but the insurance industry remains well capitalised

• Advanced markets life premium growth to improve, non-life outlook mixed

• Global trade slowdown likely to impact marine and credit premium growth

Global insurance premiums grew by 3.8% in real terms in 2015, amidst variations in regional growth rates, Swiss Re's latest sigma report says. The overall performance was steady after a 3.5%-gain in direct insurance premiums written in 2014, and coming in an environment of just moderate (2.5%) global economic growth, the latter a key driver of insurance demand. There was a slight slowdown in the life sector in 2015, with global premium growth dipping to 4.0% from 4.3%, due to weaker performance in the advanced markets. On the non-life side, strong growth in the advanced markets of Asia, and improvement in North America and Western Europe, contributed to a 3.6% increase in global premiums, up from 2.4% growth in 2014.

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