Swiss Re Sees 2014 Insurance Premium Growth on Economic Strength

Swiss Re Ltd., the world’s second-biggest reinsurer, said it expects insurance premiums to increase next year as the global economy strengthens.

Non-life insurance premiums could rise about 2 percent in “advanced” economies and by almost 8 percent in emerging markets, with reinsurance premiums following suit, the Zurich-based company said in a statement today. Global life insurance premiums may grow about 4 percent after inflation in 2014 and 2015.

“A return to economic growth in the mature markets is a good sign for insurance and we see a positive outlook for the next two years,” Kurt Karl, Swiss Re chief economist, said in the statement. “Emerging markets, especially in Africa and Asia, will definitely provide some of the more spectacular growth figures in non-life business as cities grow and people look for financial protection.”

Life reinsurance premiums could continue to fall in advanced markets as regulatory changes cut demand in the U.S. and in the U.K., while rising about 6 percent in emerging economies, according to the company’s two-year outlook.

The recent Typhoon Haiyan disaster in the Philippines is unlikely to generate large losses for non-life insurers because a low proportion of people have such coverage, Swiss Re said.

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