Introduction

WORLD LIFE AND NONLIFE INSURANCE IN 2014

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 3.7 percent in 2014, adjusted for inflation, after stagnating in 2013, according to Swiss Re’s latest study of world insurance. Nonlife premiums rose 2.9 percent in 2014, adjusted for inflation, following 2.7 percent growth in 2013. Life insurance premiums grew by 4.3 percent after inflation in 2014, after having fallen 1.8 percent in 2013, adjusted for inflation.

In 2014 life and nonlife insurance premiums (excluding cross-border business) accounted for 6.2 percent of world gross domestic product (GDP). Premiums accounted for 18.9 percent of GDP in Taiwan, the highest share in the Swiss Re study, followed by 14.2 percent in Hong Kong, 14.0 percent in South Africa, 11.3 percent in South Korea and 11.0 percent in the Netherlands. Premiums represented 7.3 percent of GDP in the United States, the 16th highest share in the study.

 

TOP 10 COUNTRIES BY LIFE AND NONLIFE DIRECT PREMIUMS WRITTEN, 2014 (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) $528,221 $752,222 $1,280,443 2.1% 26.80%
2 Japan (5), (6) 371,588 108,174 479,762 -3.7 10.04
3 United Kingdom (5) 235,321 115,945 351,266 7.9 7.35
4 P.R. China (7) 176,950 151,490 328,439 17.3 6.90
5 France (8) 172,761 97,759 270,520 5.1 5.66
6 Germany (7) 118,475 136,170 254,644 2.8 5.33
7 Italy (9) 145,292 49,443       194,735 15.3 4.08
8 South Korea (6) 101,572 57,943 159,515 9.4 3.34
9 Canada (10), (11) 52,138 73,235 125,373 -2.0 2.62
10 Netherlands (5) 21,855 74,100 95,956 -3.5 2.01

(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) Life premiums are estimated.
(5) Estimated.
(6) April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015.
(7) Provisional.
(8) Life premiums are provisional; nonlife premiums are estimated.
(9) Nonlife premiums are estimated.
(10) Life premiums are net premiums.
(11) Life premiums are estimated; nonlife premiums are provisional.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma, No. 4/2015.

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