Asia seen driving growth of global insurance market

Ted P. Torres - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Asia will continue to drive growth of the global insurance market in the next few years, with the Philippines is keeping pace, an international reinsurance firm said.

“Asia will remain the engine for the global insurance market as double-digit insurance sector growth is anticipated in Asia’s emerging markets until 2017,” a report by Munich Reinsurance Co. noted.

The German reinsurance group said the global primary insurance sector is expected to grow around four percent on average in 2016 and 2017.

Munich Re said one reason for the decent level of growth despite the uncertain macroeconomic environment is the continued high “catch-up” potential of life insurance in many emerging markets.

“In the medium term, emerging markets in Asia will continue to drive insurance sector growth. This year and next, premium volume in life insurance in this region is likely to see double-digit growth, with that in property-casualty insurance only slightly behind,” it said in its latest Insurance Market Outlook report.

In the Philippines, premium income grew 29 percent last year. In the past four years, premium income has been growing by an average annual rate of 27 percent.

Property-casualty premiums (non-life insurance, in the Philippines) are forecast to grow close to four percent worldwide. A growth of 4.5 percent is predicted in the global life insurance market.

“The outlook for the insurance sector for the next two years has brightened, despite weaker economic development in some regions. In the medium term, many emerging markets will continue to drive growth in the insurance sector, not only in terms of growth rates but also in terms of absolute growth,” Michael Menhart, Munich Re’s chief economist, said.

Last year, the domestic non-life sector posted a record premium of P37.3 billion, roughly 58-percent higher than the previous year’s P23.6-billion.


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