Outside the United States, the insurance industry is divided into life and nonlife (or general insurance), rather than life/annuity and property/casualty. Swiss Re’s sigma 3/2021, World insurance: the recovery gains pace is based on direct premium data from 147 countries, with detailed information on the largest 88 markets. World insurance premiums fell 1.3 percent in 2020, adjusted for inflation, to $6.3 trillion. Nonlife premiums grew 1.5 percent in 2020, adjusted for inflation, reaching $3.5 trillion. Life insurance premiums fell 4.4 percent, adjusted for inflation, to $2.8 trillion.
Swiss Re expects the global economy to recover strongly in 2021 from the COVID-19 pandemic due to the rapid pace of vaccinations and global fiscal stimulus. However, the recovery may be impacted by the problem of emerging virus variants. Following a drop of 2.9 percent in real growth in 2020, Swiss Re estimates total global insurance premiums will rise 3.4 percent in real terms in 2021 and slow to 3.3 percent in 2022 and 3.1 percent in 2023. Slower economic growth in 2022 and 2023 is expected as a result of global supply chain issues, labor shortages and high energy prices. These factors will increase inflation in the near term. Global life premiums are estimated to grow 3.5 percent in 2021 and 2.8 percent from 2022 to 2023. Nonlife premiums are estimated to grow 3.3 percent in 2021 and 3.5 percent, 2022 to 2023, driven by rate hardening in commercial lines. Swiss Re expects global insurance premiums to exceed $7 trillion in by mid-2022.