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Swiss Re flags surge in emerging markets

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Emerging market insurance premium will more than double over the next decade, according to a Swiss Re Sigma report.

The growth will be four times faster than in advanced markets, it says.

Premium in “emerging Asia” will grow three times faster than the world average over the next two years, with China becoming the biggest insurance market by the 2030s. The economic slowdown in emerging markets has not led to a drop in premium growth, and more stable economic growth will buttress premium expansion.

The emerging market share of premium will increase by 50% over the next decade, according to the report.

Growth in Latin America and central and eastern Europe will accelerate due to technology, enabling regulation, urban expansion and inclusion in financial markets, it says.

However, insurance market growth in China is not expected to accelerate.

Premium growth in life cover is expected to outpace general insurance for the next two years: in emerging markets life will grow at 9% and general insurance 8%. In China life premium will grow at 11% against 10% for general insurance. In eastern Europe 9% growth is expected for life and 4% for general insurance.

However, in India general insurance premium growth is expected to outpace life by 12% to 7%.

Emerging markets in the early stages of development favour general insurance as businesses comply with regulations requiring coverage. Demand for life insurance picks up as people become wealthier.

The study predicts insurtech will be instrumental in bringing affordable insurance to consumers in emerging markets.