Insurance Handbook

World Life And Nonlife Insurance In 2018

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 2018 world insurance study is based on direct premium data from 147 countries, with detailed information on the largest 88 markets. World insurance premiums rose 1.5 percent in 2018, adjusted for inflation, to $5.2 trillion, reaching the $5 trillion mark for the first time. 2018’s rise was above the 1.2 percent growth recorded in 2008 to 2017. Nonlife premiums grew 3.0 percent in 2018, adjusted for inflation, faster than the 2.2 percent growth from 2008 to 2017. Life insurance premiums grew 0.2 percent in 2018, falling behind the 0.6 percent rise in 2008 to 2017, adjusted for inflation.

Top 10 Countries By Life And Nonlife Direct Premiums Written, 2018 (1)

(US$ 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) $593,391 $875,984 $1,469,375 5.0% 28.29%
2 PR China (4) 313,365 261,512 574,877 6.2 11.07
3 Japan (4), (5) 334,243 106,405 440,648 3.8 8.49
4 United Kingdom (4) 235,501 101,009 336,510 5.2 6.48
5 France (4) 165,075 92,888 257,963 5.6 4.97
6 Germany (4) 96,439 145,046 241,485 6.3 4.65
7 South Korea (5) 98,072 80,951 179,024 -1.2 3.45
8 Italy 125,341 44,933 170,273 6.9 3.28
9 Canada (4), (6) 54,070 73,833 121,181 5.5 2.46
10 Taiwan 102,044 19,864 121,908 3.8 2.35

(1) Before reinsurance transactions.
(2) Includes accident and health insurance.
(3) Nonlife premiums include state funds; life premiums are net premiums and include an estimate of group pension business.
(4) Estimated or provisional.
(5) Financial year April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019.
(6) Nonlife premiums are gross premiums, including reinsurance.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma, No. 3/2019.

View Archived Tables

World Life And Nonlife Insurance Direct Premiums Written, 2018 (1)

(US$ billions)

(1) Before reinsurance transactions.
(2) Includes accident and health insurance.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma, No. 3/2019.

View Archived Graphs

World Life And Nonlife Insurance Direct Premiums Written, 2016-2018 (1)

(US$ millions)

Year Life Nonlife (2) Total
2016 $2,576,886 $2,117,918 $4,694,804
2017 2,724,017 2,233,490 4,957,507
2018 2,820,175 2,373,050 5,193,225

(1) Before reinsurance transactions.
(2) Includes accident and health insurance.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma database, sigma No. 3/2019.

View Archived Tables

 

Top 10 Countries by Total Insurance Premiums Per Capita and Percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 2018 (1)

 

Rank Country Total premiums
per capita
Rank Country Total premiums as
a percent of GDP
1 Cayman Islands $11,642 1 Taiwan 20.88%
2 Hong Kong 8,863 2 Hong Kong 18.16
3 Switzerland 6,934 3 Cayman Islands 17.51
4 Denmark 6,289 4 South Africa 12.89
5 Ireland 5,253 5 South Korea (2) 11.16
6 Taiwan 5,161 6 United Kingdom 10.61
7 Luxembourg 5,001 7 Denmark 10.37
8 Singapore 4,958 8 Finland 9.87
9 Finland 4,926 9 Netherlands 9.24
10 Netherlands 4,890 10 France 8.89
  Total world $682   Total world 6.09%

(1) Includes nonlife and life insurance and cross-border business.
(2) April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma, No. 3/2019.

View Archived Tables