Introduction

WORLD LIFE AND NONLIFE INSURANCE IN 2013

Outside the United States, the insurance industry is divided into life and nonlife, or general insurance, rather than life/health and property/casualty. World insurance premiums rose 1.4 percent in 2013, adjusted for inflation, following a 2.5 percent inflation-adjusted increase in 2012, according to Swiss Re’s latest study of world insurance. Nonlife premiums rose 2.3 percent in 2013, adjusted for inflation, following 2.7 percent growth in 2012. Life insurance premiums grew by 0.7 percent after inflation in 2013, down from 2.3 percent inflation-adjusted growth in 2012.

In 2013 life and nonlife insurance premiums (excluding cross-border business) accounted for 6.3 percent of world gross domestic product (GDP). Premiums accounted for 17.6 percent of GDP in Taiwan, the highest share in the Swiss Re study, followed by 15.4 percent in South Africa, 13.2 percent in Hong Kong, 12.6 percent in the Netherlands and 11.9 percent in South Korea. Premiums represented 7.5 percent of GDP in the United States, the 10th highest share in the study.

 

TOP TEN COUNTRIES BY LIFE AND NONLIFE DIRECT PREMIUMS WRITTEN, 2013 (1)

(U.S. $ millions)

        Total premiums
Rank Country Life premiums Nonlife premiums (2) Amount Percent change
from prior year
Percent of total
world premiums
1 United States (3), (4) $532,858 $726,397 $1,259,255 -1.1% 27.13%
2 Japan (5), (6) 422,733 108,773 531,506 -15.2 11.45
3 United Kingdom (6) 222,893 106,750 329,643 2.4 7.10
4 P.R. China (4) 152,121 125,844 277,965 13.3 5.99
5 France (7) 160,156 94,598 254,754 7.2 5.49
6 Germany (7) 114,349 132,813 247,162 6.3 5.33
7 Italy (4) 117,978 50,576       168,554 17.1 3.63
8 South Korea (5), (6) 91,204 54,223 145,427 -4.9 3.13
9 Canada (6), (8) 52,334 73,010 125,344 0.6 2.70
10 Netherlands (4) 26,005 75,135 101,140 5.5 2.18

(1) Before reinsurance transactions.
(2) Includes accident and health insurance.
(3) Nonlife premiums include state funds; life premiums include an estimate of group pension business.
(4) Provisional.
(5) April 1, 2013-March 31, 2014.
(6) Estimated.
(7) Life premiums are estimated; nonlife premiums are provisional.
(8) Life premiums are net premiums.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma, No. 3/2014.

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