Global insurance markets - Current status and outlook up to 2026

3,500,000,000,000, EUR 3.5 trillion or 5.7 percent of global economic output. Preliminary estimates suggest that this is the volume of the gross written premiums generated by insurers across the globe last year. In a year-on-year comparison, the nominal increase in premium income – after adjustments to reflect foreign currency translation effects –comes to an estimated 5.3%. This means that the pace of growth remained stable compared with the previous year (5.5%) and was once again up considerably on the average annual growth rate for the past decade (2005 - 2015: 4.0%).

Both lines of business contributed to the very robust development in 2015, although the pace of growth on the P&C insurance market (4.5%) is likely to have lagged ever so slightly behind the rate of expansion on the life insurance market (+5.8%). With a relatively stable premium share of 63%, life insurance also dominates the insurance market as a whole. In per capita terms, the population spent a global average of around EUR 615 on insurance products in 2015 (life: EUR 390; P&C: EUR 225). Per capita insurance spending varied in line with the maturity of the market in question, ranging from EUR 7 in Laos to EUR 5,850 in Hong Kong.

This means that the insurance sector grew at a faster rate than general economic output in 2015 for what is now the second year running. In a long-term comparison, the opposite has generally held true: since 2005, average annual growth in global gross domestic product has been 1.3 percentage points ahead of the corresponding rate of growth in total premium income. So after being on a downward trajectory since 2005, the insurance penetration rate, i.e. gross written premiums expressed as a percentage of economic output, has returned to a more stable footing over the past two years.

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