Global Industry

Insuring HIV-Positive Lives in Europe - No Big Deal?

Around 2.5 million people in Europe are living with HIV.1 The overall prevalence is 0.3% compared to 5% in Sub-Saharan Africa.2 Most European countries have been working to combat the HIV epidemic since the early 1980s. As a result, mortality from AIDS in Europe has steadily decreased since 2001.3 But does this mean that the crisis is really over? And what does this imply for the insurance industry?

RiskeBusiness Issue 56

The lastest issue of RiskeBusiness has been posted at ALUCA's website.

Obesity in Asia: Putting the Problem in Perspective (Gen Re)

Although some of the lowest prevalence rates of obesity are found in Asia-Pacific countries, economic and social factors leave the region as a whole experiencing alarming rates of increase.

​Anticipating Infectious Disease Impacts in an Increasingly Globalized World (Webcast)

This webcast will cover what we currently know about emerging global infectious diseases, reflecting on events from the 1918 Spanish flu to the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa. We will also discuss what tools are available to help the insurance industry better plan for and respond to tomorrow’s inevitable epidemics.

Mexico Makes a Stand Against Obesity

Obesity used to be considered almost exclusively a problem of developed countries. But recently rates of obesity in developing economies have increased abruptly. Indeed, obesity is now often linked to more deaths than malnutrition and some infectious diseases.

2015 Global Insurance Outlook

Key challenges in 2015 include rising competition, generally soft pricing conditions and tight profit margins. To effectively surmount these problems, many insurers are investing technological solutions that improve front-end sales, distribution and customer service, and enhance back-end operational efficiency and expense management.

Life Insurance Product Development Innovation and Optimization

​Life insurance new product development continues to be negatively impacted by long lead times, both to generate ideas and bring them to market, and the perceived quality of innovation within these new ideas.

In mid-2014, RGA sought to assess and quantify these issues more closely by conducting its first global survey of life insurers.

A Crossroad Awaits in India

​In the 15 years since India reprivatised its insurance industry, several models have been developed to optimise operations, distribution, and suitability. Mr. Amit Punchhi of RGA examines the three elements that are contributing to the slowing down of the life market’s growth.

Underwriting Shisha

Shisha – the practice of smoking tobacco or non-tobacco alternatives in waterpipes – is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Mr Devesh Anand of RGA Reinsurance Company Middle East Limited looks into the health risks of shisha and the underwriting considerations involved.

Obesity - A Global Issue for Insurers

Over two billion people, or nearly 30% of the world’s population, are overweight or obese. It would be convenient to see this grim statistic as the inevitable by-product of the improved quality of life and economic success being enjoyed by more people in more countries. The fact is, however, obesity is taking a huge toll on society, in economic as well as in health terms.

Overweight and Obesity in Asia

Although Asian countries have some of the lowest prevalence of overweight and obesity worldwide, they are experiencing alarming rates of increase in recent years. The boom in economic development and cultural factors are often cited as drivers. Knowledge about trends in overweight and obesity is important for underwriting this increasingly common risk group.

Southeast Asia's Developing Life Insurance Markets

Mr Peter Tan of RGA Reinsurance Company looks at the needs of the day and the trends in Southeast Asia’s life and health markets.

LOMA Focus: Global Update

While challenges abound in the post-financial crisis world, life insurers are facing them head on, rethinking their investment strategies, fine-tuning their individual products, entering and exiting product lines, bolstering their risk management capabilities—and more.

Suicide: Global Insights and Insurance Analysis (RGA)

Currently, suicide stands as the 13th leading cause of death worldwide, responsible for nearly 1 million fatalities annually. RGA’s Global Research and Development team’s analysis of suicide rates before and after the 2008 financial crisis uses population data from Canada, Australia, the UK and the U.S., as well as insured data from RGA’s extensive database.

This paper presents the results of the research, as well as information about treatment of suicide claims in these markets.

Direct-to-Consumer Gene Testing in an Australian Context (Gen Re)

We review the developments in genomic medicine and potential impacts on the life insurance industry’s right to underwrite.

Understanding the Changing Middle Market for Life Insurance in China (SOA Research Studies)

The International Section, Marketing and Distribution Section along with the Research Expanding Boundaries Pool supported a research initiative that explored the changing middle market for life insurance in China.

Behind the Growth of the Chinese Life Insurance Industry

The world has been amazed by the rapid growth of the Chinese economy and its life insurance market during the last couple of decades. The annual premium compound growth rate has well exceeded 20 percent since 1996. Even with a sign of slowing down in recent years, the growth rates are still positive and people still are optimistic about the future of the Chinese life insurance industry.

Risk Insights March 2014 Edition (Gen Re)

Articles in the latest issue of Gen Re's Risk Insights include:

- No Easy Way Out: An Overview of International Trends in Suicide
- Suicide: Right to Die, Wrong to Claim?
- South African Group Mortality Experience
- Paying Assisted Death Claims - A UK Perspective

The UK Insurance Market and How It Is Changing

Commercial, consumer and regulatory environments are combining to form a fertile breeding ground for much needed innovation in the U.K. insurance market.

A World of Opportunity and Risk (LOMA Resource)

Insurers around the world are carefully monitoring developments in the global economy, regulatory oversight, accounting issues, promising markets - and more.

Life Insurance Global Boom

As life insurers seek to find more buyers in the United States, sales in foreign markets are booming for some carriers, particularly in Asia as millions continue to transition into the middle class.

Banks are Big in Latin America Life Insurance Distribution

In Latin America, life insurance is frequently purchased from banks rather than from traditional life insurance agents.

The Promise and Challenges Facing Global Life Insurance Markets

Globally, life insurers are now challenged to introduce relevant products that reflect the needs and conditions of targeted global regions, and also to maintain financial strength, as detailed by Towers Watson consultants covering four continents.

Indian Life Insurance – An Industry at the Crossroads

The Indian life insurance industry has enjoyed a compounded annual growth rate of 21% over the last decade. The industry has posted double-digit growth every year up until 2009-2010, and the total number of life policies increased from 90 million in 1999 to 340 million by 2011. The total life insurance premium for the financial year 2011-2012 was approximately INR 2.87 trillion (USD 52 billion).

10 Years of Low Interest Rate Environment - Experiences from the Japanese Life Insurance Market

Central banks have reacted to the last financial crisis worldwide with a massive increase in liquidity and the reduction of key interest rates to historically low levels. Expectations for an end of the low interest rate environment have regularly appeared over the last years, but rates have remained at low levels.

Medical Underwriting and Risk Adjustment Practices in 8 Countries Around the World

This new series of blog posts, published on Healthcare Town Hall, focuses on the medical underwriting and risk adjustment practices of eight countries: Australia, Ghana, Ireland, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, and United Arab Emirates.

Global View of the Life Insurance Market

The global financial crisis continues to shape life insurance business performance, challenging profitability for the foreseeable future. A lingering uncertain economic environment and prolonged low interest reates are dimming growth prospects throughout the world.

LOMA Resource: Global Update - Another Challenging Year

Life insurers around the world are coping with an economic slowdown, political risk, evolving regulations, and more. Here's a look at the situation – and what they are doing about it.

Underwriting Barrett's Esophagus

Article appears on Page 2 of the May 2012, Gen Re Risk Matters Oceania. Other articles included in this issue:

Redefining Heart Attack in Critical Illness Insurance
Pills, Pilsner & Rock'n'Roll: The Impact for Claims and Underwriting
Multi-Pay Cancer as a Paid Option

LIMRA Research Podcast - Takaful: Offering An Insurance Alternative

Takaful is an Islamic insurance concept that provides consumers with an acceptable alternative to conventional insurance, which many view as not conforming to their religious heritage. LIMRA talks with Ruthine Williams-Baron, research analyst with International Research at LIMRA, about the origins of Takaful, what makes it different from conventional insurance, and its current growth in the Malaysian market.

Global Industry Outlook for 2012

The repercussions of the global economic recession continue to reverberate across much of the world, creating significant impediments to the growth and prosperity of global life and non-life insurers.

A Study on Emerging Health Conditions Among the Elderly in India and the Sufficiency Of Medical Framework and Health Insurance

The number of elderly in India has steadily increased in the past six decades. Their percentage to total population recently has been declining but is masked by the increasing number of younger members.

2012 Global Insurance Outlook: Deloitte

Insurance companies across the industry will have to overcome significant hurdles as they look to bolster their top- and bottom-lines in 2012.

Growth Anticipated for Indian Insurers, but Frustrations Remain

A new special report on India's insurance market from A.M. Best

Life Insurance and the Actuarial Profession in India - A Decade After Liberalization

The actuarial Profession in india has witnessed a sea change in the decade after insurance liberalization. it has gone from being described as a “moribund profession” to being a “dynamic and lucrative” one.

Only in the Heat of the Moment? A Study of the Relation between Weather and Mortality in Germany

This research focuses on the relation between heat events and the distribution of mortality rates. The main goals are to clarify whether heat immediately leads to an increase in daily mortality and, if so, which term structure of the relation can be singled out.

Guaranteed Benefits for Income Protection

In traditional Income Protection (IP) product design it is relatively common for payable benefits to be reduced at the time of a claim.

Insurers Seek New Underwriting Practices in Competitive Asia Markets

Life insurance companies are looking into sound and innovative underwriting practices in a race to offer new products, serve customers and maintain persistency in Asia's rapidly expanding and changing marketplace, according to panelists participating in a Best's Review's webinar.

The Growth of Takaful

The evolution of a system of insurance that adheres to the teachings of Islam reflects the expansion of financial opportunities in the Muslim world.

Takaful: Insurance as close to cost as possible

Debo Ajayi, Lead and Managing Consultant of Milliman's Dubai office, discusses the inherent fairness and transparency of Takaful insurance.

Summary of The Global Family Takaful Report 2011

Milliman presents the first exclusive Global Family Takaful Report, focusing on the recent developments within family Takaful. With global family Takaful contributions currently estimated at US$1.7 billion, Milliman projects a 250% increase within the next five years to US$4.3 billion. The growth in family Takaful thus far outweighs both general Takaful growth as well as global conventional life insurance growth.

Celent Study: China’s Life Insurance Market Experiences Dip

Since 2011, premium income in China’s life insurance market has declined due to nascent regulatory activity according to a report, China Insurance Market and Technology Trends 2011, authored by Wenli Yuan, a Senior Analyst with Celent’s Asian Financial Services Group, Celent, Boston MA.

World Insurance in 2010

According to Swiss Re’s latest “World insurance in 2010” sigma study, world insurance premium volume increased 2.7% on an inflation-adjusted basis. Life premiums rose by 3.2%, non-life by 2.1%. Premium growth in emerging markets accelerated. The industry’s capital and solvency improved, while low interest rates weighed on investment income.

Urban Economic Clout Moves East

Look to the Eastern Hemisphere for tomorrow’s top urban players in the global economy, says this study from McKinsey Quarterly.

India Life Insurance Survey: Milliman

Survey of C-level life insurance executives (covering CEOs, CFOs, Appointed Actuaries and Chief Actuaries) to gauge their views on some topical issues currently affecting the Indian life insurance industry.

Analysts: Europe May Change Life Product Tax Rules

European countries’ efforts to increase tax revenue may erode the tax advantages life products in those countries now enjoy.

Benjamin Serra and Tobias Moerschen, analysts in the European offices of Moody’s Investors Service, New York, come to that conclusion in a new comment on the competitiveness of traditional life products in Europe.

Milliman Insight: Capital requirements and constraints in Indian life insurance sector in the current environment

Capital injections into Indian life insurance companies have dropped off since the global financial crisis, and the industry now faces a major challenge in obtaining the capital it needs. In addition to other factors, it is likely that recent IRDA guidelines that cap charges on unit-linked products are slowing investment of capital into the business. This paper discusses the steps that policymakers and the IRDA should take to increase industry access to capital, in order to support growth in the future.

The Epidemiological Approach to Disability: The Specific Burden of Dementia

Karine Peres presents the current trends of disability worldwide from an epidemiological perspective with a focus on dementia.

Climate Change, Human Health Costs and Insurance -- Critical Uncertainties and Challenges

Marthat Barata et al. address the economic impact of climate change on health with a special focus on Brazil. The authors stress the challenges this trend implies for insurance.

7th Geneva Association Health and Ageing Conference--Summary

Christophe Courbage offers an overview of the 7th Geneva Association Health and Ageing Conference on "US and French Long-Term Care Insurance Markets Development" held in Paris November 18-19, 2010.

ACLI Joins Fight Against Brazilian Reinsurance Regs

The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) is part of a coalition that is asking the government of Brazil to change new reinsurance regulations.

Insurance groups from Europe, Asia and the Americas are joining to object to the new rules, according to the ACLI, Washington.

NAIC Meets With European Counterparts

Regulators convene to foster better international coordination and discuss impact of Solvency II, Dodd-Frank reforms.

Life Insurers, Analysts Ponder Effects of Japan Earthquakes

Insurers and industry analysts are starting to think about how the earthquakes and tsunamis that struck northeastern Japan Friday might affect the life and health sectors.

Realising the promise of the MENA market

How international groups can make the most of the rapid growth in the insurance market of the Middle East and North
Africa (MENA).

World life expectancy and future longevity scenarios

The increase in life expectancy that we have been observing over the last two and a half centuries is a very spectacular phenomenon. It has a significant impact on society and on the economy. Governments, actuaries and medical care providers all have a great interest in studying its reasons and all have to make assumptions on the future evolution of life expectancy.

The first part of this document provides an overview of various studies that focus on the causes of mortality improvements as well as of the observed convergence of life expectancies in the developed countries and to a smaller extent in the whole world. The later part of the paper examines the effect of improving life expectancy on individual
life durations. People live longer lives now, and more of them survive to older ages, which causes the so-called “rectangularisation” of the survival curve. The question that one may ask is: what is going to happen next? Is there is a limit to a life span? For a reinsurance company, the obvious question is: what the possible future scenarios would mean for the life insurance business?

Challenging the Legality of the Gender Directive

Addresses an interesting case currently being litigated in the European Union challenging the long-established right of insurers to charge gender-specific rates.

Making the Most of the MENA Market

PricewaterhouseCoopers Insurance Digest on how international groups can make the most of the rapid growth in the insurance market of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Positioning for a new financial landscape: Next steps on the road to global solvency regulation for insurers

As institutions begin to emerge from the financial crisis and global economic downturn, their thoughts are turning towards preparations for the recovery.

Why governments must lead the fight against obesity

Locally led social movements are required to reverse the obesity pandemic. Governments are in a uniquely powerful position to catalyze these movements.

Global insurance industry led by double-digit growth in emerging Asia

Swiss Re’s economist predicts sustained strong growth in Asia's insurance industry in 2011, with emerging markets continuing to outpace mature markets. Life and non-life insurance premiums in emerging Asia grew strongly by 16.8% and 17.3% respectively, in real terms in 2010, with significant contribution in particular from China. Such strong momentum is expected to continue in 2011; but there are emerging risks to watch out for.

Global Insurance Review 2010 and Outlook 2011/12

Growth in the insurance and reinsurance industry will continue to accelerate in 2011, say Swiss Re economists.

Cerulli: U.K. Life Market Fell Hard

The size of the U.K. life market shrank much more drastically between 2007 and 2009 than the size of other major European life markets did.

Microinsurance: Risk Protection For 4 Billion People

The global microinsurance market has a potential of covering up to 4 billion people through market-based risk transfer solutions and public private partnerships (PPP). This translates into a potential premium volume of up to USD 40 billion. The last decade has seen increasing institutional activity in microinsurance, with fast growth observed in many regional markets.

Southeast Asia insurance market

The first nine months of 2010 have seen a significant upsurge in M&A activity in the insurance sector in Southeast Asia (and beyond) as established players look to the region for growth opportunities and domestic consolidation continues. Most high profile was Prudential’s planned acquisition of AIA on which Herbert Smith acted for the underwriting banks.

Insurance Investment in a Challenging Global Environment

The two market collapses of the past decade have spurred many insurers to rethink their approach to investing. When markets rise rapidly and steadily, seeing only short term dips, as in the 1990s, it becomes easy to confuse investment savvy with a bull market. But the recent market turmoil has forced many insurers to reassess their investment and risk management capabilities.

Why Governments Must Lead the Fight Against Obesity

Locally led social movements are required to reverse the obesity pandemic. Governments are in a uniquely powerful position to catalyze these movements.

Swiss Re: Customers for Life -- European Insurance Report

Swiss Re on what consumers really think about life insurance, about our industry, about our products.

The Geneva Association: Health and Ageing, October 2010

New findings on health care reform, long-term care, microinsurance and more.

Microinsurance: A new insurance model for the developing world

Microinsurance is insurance that enables low-income people, mostly in the developing world, to avoid the debt traps that often imperil their livelihoods and even their lives. Microinsurance provides life, health, and other unique forms of insurance, providing limited benefits for very low premiums. We spoke with Milliman consultant Lisa Morgan about some of the ins and outs of this intriguing and relatively new innovation in the insurance industry. Morgan was recently approved as a provider with the United Nations' International Labour Organization (ILO), offering her expertise in designing and pricing financially sustainable products to organisations with identified needs for microinsurance. She is also involved in the ILO's Consulting and Capacity Building Programme.

Gen Re Risk Insights

Topics include:

  • Cancer Screening - Developments and Implications for Critical Illness
  • Biometrical Trends and Their Effects on Long Term Care Insurance
  • LTC Premium Increases - Survey Results
  • Improvements in Traffic Accident Mortality - Spain

European Life Insurers See Demand Spike

A.M. Best report says growth of new business in 2009 was strong compared to prior years, but challenges remain.

Next Steps on the Road to Global Solvency Regulation for Insurers

As the regulatory landscape shifts, insurers and reinsurers should take the opportunity to remain alert and aware as efforts to modernize and streamline the industry unfolds. This Deloitte “point of view” examines the discussion and outlines the current and proposed initiatives between international insurance regulatory authorities around the world.

56 Top Global Insurers Announced

U.S.-based Chubb was among several international firms recognized for achievements and best practices in the financial, business world.

Indian Insurers Successfully Tapping Middle Class

The ADB report on the rise of the middle class in Asia Pacific has lot of valuable information for the financial institutions in India. It also indicates which sectors need regulatory help and which should be restrained and restricted. The comparison with China helps us in understanding the focus areas in financial services development in India, as many of the sectors were in a very similar state 20 years prior.

About Density and Penetration of Life Insurance in Europe

Life insurers have suffered since the financial crisis and the economic downturn, and it is difficult to predict what is going to happen to this market in 2010, and maybe in a longer period. But based on this analysis there are at least two observations that can be drawn in today’s context.

Moody’s: Outlook on European Insurers Still Negative

The first half of 2010 showed stabilization of capital and earnings for European insurers, but conditions remain challenging.

Healthcare Reform: Learning from Others

Among industrialized countries, Japan has the lowest per capita spending on healthcare and the highest life expectancy. What are the Japanese doing right?

Is Bancassurance the Flavor of the Month?

Bancassurance is growing in many Asian markets, buoyed by deregulation of banking sector on one hand and insurance companies intending to optimize distribution via banks on the other. On the local level, bancassurance business in Asia-Pacific countries has evolved in different ways.

Insurance Trade Experts: “Let’s Talk”

U.S. and European insurance regulators need to work on communications, according to industry experts.

The experts talked about communications barriers here at the summer meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Kansas City, Mo., during a panel discussion sponsored by the American Insurance Association, Washington.

Comparative Health Care Systems: What Can We Learn from Examining the Health Care Systems of Other Countries?

Presentation from the SOA '10 Health Meeting, held on June 28–30, in Orlando, FL.

The Commonwealth Fund: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally, 2010 Update

Despite having the most costly health system in the world, the United States consistently underperforms on most dimensions of performance, relative to other countries. This report—an update to three earlier editions—includes data from seven countries and incorporates patients' and physicians' survey results on care experiences and ratings on dimensions of care. Compared with six other nations—Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom—the U.S. health care system ranks last or next-to-last on five dimensions of a high performance health system: quality, access, efficiency, equity, and healthy lives. Newly enacted health reform legislation in the U.S. will start to address these problems by extending coverage to those without and helping to close gaps in coverage—leading to improved disease management, care coordination, and better outcomes over time.

Global Industry Fact Sheet

Presented by The Geneva Association.

Changes Afoot in Asian Insurance Market

The distribution channels for the insurance market in Asian countries are diversifying, according to research released by Boston-based research and consulting firm Celent.

The report notes that life insurance companies in many Asian markets have previously depended on individual agents as their main sales channel. However, the market share of this channel is decreasing, while that of banks is growing every year.

Health Care - a Global Concern

The fourth in a series about global health-care issues, looking at how aging populations will impact health-care systems and social policies across the world. This article focuses on Hong Kong.

About Density and Penetration of Life Insurance in Europe

We are currently looking at the life insurance market in Europe—more specifically saving and retirement solutions involving wealth management by insurance companies. In the frame of our initial work, we have tried to identify the differences between the main European markets comparing each of them in terms of density and penetration.

2010 Oceania Insurance Outlook (Ernst & Young)

This report addresses three themes likely to dominate in 2010 as companies seek to deliver better returns on equity and earnings per share:

1. Regulatory reform and capital increases
2. Continued operational efficiency programmes
3. Emergence of new operating models, particularly around distribution

South Africa Life Insurance Index Q1 2010 (Ernst & Young)

The first quarter of 2010 was characterised by slowly returning confidence to the banking sector; sustained strong confidence in asset management; and life insurer confidence again boosted by continued rising investment income.

2010 European Insurance Outlook (Ernst & Young)

Ernst & Young identifies seven of the most significant risks and opportunities for 2010:

• Rebuilding capital and re-evaluating core businesses
• Developing a holistic approach to risk management
• Preparing for Solvency II implementation
• Addressing significant stakeholder concerns
• Handling increasing complexity in a changing regulatory environment
• Reprioritizing investment in expansion
• Capitalizing on opportunities for retirement products and health insurance

2010 Far East Insurance Outlook (Ernst & Young)

Ernst & Young has identified the following six issues and challenges for insurers in 2010:
• Exploit near term Far East growth opportunities
• Develop products to meet shifting consumer demands and needs
• Confront issues surrounding distribution channel management
• Build more robust risk management and consider regional factors in managing risk
• Identify and develop immediate and long-term capital sources
• Plan for new accounting and regulatory requirements

Health and LTC Insurance in Eastern and Central European Countries

Overview of the last Geneva Association Health and Ageing Conference held in Warsaw in November 2009.

China’s Healthcare Reform: What Does it Mean to the Insurance Industry?

Raymond Yeung looks at the new health reform in China and its implication on the development of Chinese health insurance industry.

The Social Health Insurance Competition Strengthening Act in Germany—Can there be Competition without Risk Selection?

Annette Hofmann and Stephan Rosenbrock discuss the impacts of the new German’s Social Health Insurance Competition Strengthening Act on private health insurers in The Geneva Association's Health and Ageing newsletter.

Milliman: Korean Variable Annuities Market

Although the Korean variable annuities market has grown rapidly over the last five years and is fairly sophisticated in terms of product development, it is still lacking from a risk management perspective. Dynamic hedging is one of the best risk management strategies that Korean VA writers can adopt.

Cost Containment of Health Plans in Europe

As the recession takes its toll, what are organizations in Europe doing to manage cost while supporting their employees in looking after their own most important asset – their health? (Mercer)

Chinese Health Care reform: An Overview

Health care reform has become a global topic due to 2 major factors. (Mercer)

China Market Opportunities Obscured by Language Barrier

There are major barriers carriers will face as they try to unlock the potential of more than 1.2 billion people living and working in China, a global powerhouse. And while these barriers will all but stop even the most tenacious players, there are three that will stop them dead in their tracks.

Cost Containment in Canada

Cost management, which took a back seat in Canada during the heady days of the last decade, is back. Although benefits still represent a small percentage of payroll, given the country’s accompanying medicare system, Canada was not immune to the effects of the global economic recession. Plan cost management is now a priority. Short-term economic survival is the imperative – long-term financial stability and affordability is the goal.

Southeast Asian Insurance Markets: A Market Review

On 25 February, 2010, A.M. Best's international panel discussed growth opportunities, the expansion of Takaful and re-Takaful insurance, the use of microinsurance and insurance pools and the changing distribution systems. The webinar was based on a new report authored by Yvette Essen, head of market analysis for A.M. Best's global financial services division.

Virtual Roundtable: Profiting in Emerging Markets

Emerging markets such as China and India continue to see growth in the financial services sector, providing opportunities for insurance companies based in more mature markets. What are the key opportunities and challenges that insurers face in doing business in emerging markets?

Contingencies: Healthcare Reform - Learning From Others: Germany

Compared to Americans, German citizens enjoy broader health care benefits at lower cost. Could such a system work in the US?

2010 European Insurance Outlook (Ernst & Young)

Although insurers fared better than the banks during the global  nancial crisis and resulting recession, premiums for 2008 declined by 6% to just under €1,060b with no improvement in 2009. Overall, life insurance companies fared better from the crisis than banks; however, they were shaken by investment losses, as were their customers with market-linked products. General insurance companies suffered from capital base erosion and by the continuation of soft rates. European Union (EU) insurers’ efforts to rebuild capital may be complicated in 2010 by a changing accounting and regulatory environment and the impending implementation of Solvency II, with many commentators forecasting a need to increase capital levels.

Dynamic Policyholder Behaviour Survey

This 2009 Milliman survey examines European life insurance companies’ modeling of dynamic policyholder behaviour, which is the influence that external factors can have over policyholders’ propensity to exercise the options available in a life insurance policy.

Swiss Re: Updated data appendix of the world insurance sigma 3/2009

Swiss Re has updated the data appendix of its World Insurance 2008 Sigma report released earlier this year to incorporate the latest available data.

The main findings of the sigma have been confirmed.

The global life and non-life insurance premium volume for 2008 has been revised. The large revision is mainly due to the UK life sector. For the rest of the regions the changes are described as minor.

Parallax: Striving for a More Resilient International Financial Architecture

The Insurance & Finance Programme of The Geneva Association examines the interface of financial research with insurance and risk management. The programme makes original contributions to the progress of insurance through different initiatives in the field of insurance finance, such as detecting new and promising developments or discussing the relevance of financial concepts to the industry, and promotes the study of the function and nature of finance in insurance.

In this special contribution, Patrick M. Liedtke, Secretary General and Managing Director of The Geneva Association, looks at the common misperceptions about insurance’s involvement in the credit crisis and highlights the need for insurance involvement in the restructuring of the world’s financial architecture.

Editorial: Insurance and the Crisis Resolution (The Geneva Association)

Patrick M. Liedtke examines the proposals for reform in the post-crisis environment in four specific areas: financial stability and insurance, supervision and regulation, risk management and accounting and value measurement.

Emerging from the Storm: The Day after Tomorrow for Insurance (The Geneva Association)

This report examines how the financial crisis is set to reshape the industry as a whole, along with some of the key developments that are likely to affect particular segments and geographical markets.

SCOR: The Challenges of Tele-Underwriting

Tele-underwriting, a concept launched initially in the United States, is now getting momentum in various markets in Europe and in the rest of the world. Teleunderwriting can revolutionise the business process in the field of underwriting. (SCOR Global Life overview of this process and its advantages.)

Milliman: Life - The European cross-border market: High worth, low visibility

Without attracting much attention, the European cross-border life insurance market has grown significantly over the past 15 years. Despite a relatively short history and low profile, this segment of the insurance industry is one of the largest in Europe, with potential for future growth.

Globalisation of Collective Redress | Swiss Re

Swiss Re’s new Focus Report: “The Globalisation of Collective Redress: Consequences for the Insurance Industry” provides an update on the global spread of collective actions and assesses both the risks and the opportunities that this development carries for insurers.

World insurance in 2008: life premiums fall in the industrialised countries - strong growth in the emerging economies

World insurance premium volume rose slightly to USD 4270 billion in 2008. However, adjusted for inflation, premiums declined by 2%. Global life premiums fell by 3.5% in 2008, mainly driven by a sharp fall in the sale of unit-linked and single premium life insurance products in the industrialised countries. Non-life premiums decreased by 0.8%.

2009 Global Terror Update - Guy Carpenter

Summarizes terror insurance market developments in 34 countries across six continents. According to the report, developments on a country-by-country basis are being shaped largely by events, including new or evolving threats and local developments in the insurance and reinsurance markets. The update also addresses the impact of terror insurance on the aviation market and looks at recent developments in terror modeling.

The London G20 Summit: Governments' Response to the Economic Crisis and Global Financial Regulatory Reforms

To position for growth and high performance, financial institutions must anticipate regulatory reforms and devise their own strategies for success in the emerging environment, says this Accenture white paper.

Majority of Insurers Plan to Expand Internationally in Next 12 Months, Accenture Survey Finds

Despite the turmoil in the global economy, nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of insurers plan to grow outside of their home market in the next 12 months, according to findings of a global survey released today by Accenture.

Health and Ageing

The Geneva Association's April 2009 Information Newsletter spotlights long-term care and aging issues from a global perspective. The guest editorial by Christopher Ball and Ross Campbell discusses instruments that produce the right information for underwriters and claim managers to better insure long-term care risks. Housing, Medicare and long-term care insurance are also examined.

CDC - Influenza (Flu) U.S. Map, Summary

Weekly update on seasonal influenza. For H1N1 related news, visit

WHO | World Health Organization

You can check out the latest on the global spread of influenza here.

Aon Announces Top 10 Global Risks

E&Y: Takaful Market to Grow Significantly

Takaful insurance is growing 35% faster than conventional insurance worldwide, and is poised to become an $11 billion market by 2015. This information comes from Ahmed Al Janahi, managing director of Noor Takaful, at the 4th Annual World Takaful Conference in Dubai.

Solvency II: A competitive advantage for European insurers?

Despite the fact Solvency II in its current form will apply only to the European Union, North American insurers are encouraged to pay attention to the factors underlying its development. If, as anticipated, Solvency II leads to markedly lower capital charges for EU-based companies, then the Europeans will have a significant competitive advantage over North American companies.

2009 Insurance outlook Far East: Ernst & Young

The expansion of western European and US insurance companies into Asia will continue but at a slower pace. Read more.

Term Assurance for HIV Positive (HIV+)

Hannover Life Re believes that we should all be looking to offer cover to as many individuals as we can and that as far as possible insurance should strive to be inclusive. The company also feels it is right to challenge ourselves to continue to change cultural attitudes and encourage inclusive behaviour.

CI Cover for Children in Different Parts of the World - from Individual Policy to Automatic Inclusion

From the March 2009 issue of Gen Re's Risk Insights.

Health Insurance in France

From the March 2009 issue of Gen Re's Risk Insights.

In shifting sands: UK Life and Pensions outlook 2009: Ernst & Young

This paper seeks to leverage our knowledge, insight and industry experience to identify the key challenges for the insurance sector in 2009.

2009 Insurance outlook Europe: Ernst & Young

Financial services and insurance companies face enormous challenges in 2009 as they manage through the economic downturn and respond to market shifts and consumer expectations.

Capturing opportunities in a period of transition: How multinational insurers can compete in China

After rapid growth in recent years, the insurance industry in China is pausing to catch its breath. Mei Dong, Wendy Lai, and Xiaokai Shi describe the changes in the industry, at regulators, and in the Chinese workforce, and suggest how foreign insurers can meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities in this time of transition.

UPDATED: World insurance in 2007: emerging markets leading the way

According to the latest Swiss Re sigma study, world insurance premium income grew 3.3% in real terms in 2007, reaching USD 4 061bn. This growth was primarily driven by the life business in industrialised and emerging markets and to a lesser extent by the non-life business in the emerging markets.

UPDATE: The statistical appendix updates premium volumes from the world insurance sigma published earlier this year.

Insurance in emerging markets: overview and prospects for Islamic insurance

Swiss Re’s new sigma study explores the latest developments in the insurance sector of the emerging market economies, with a special focus on the growing market for takaful, a form of Islamic insurance.

Insurance: Indian and Foreign Firms Test Positive for Growth Steroid

Driving through India's financial capital Mumbai, some of the brightest billboards that catch your eye promote insurance companies. Most of them represent big brands like New York Life, MetLife, Aviva and AIG. For the last five years, they have been working hard to make their presence felt in a under-insured market.

Life in the Future

Life cover is the cornerstone of the protection industry. But with premium rates having fallen so low, what lies ahead for this market: expansion or stagnation?

Islamic insurance: A competitively priced, ethical product with potentially widespread appeal

Takaful (Islamic insurance) is one of the fastest growing types of insurance worldwide and has potentially significant appeal beyond just Muslim populations. Writing in PricewaterhouseCoopers' Insurance Digest, the authors describe takaful’s attributes and attractions, and offer suggestions on how insurers can market it.

Risk Talk on pandemic preparedness in the 21st century

January 2008 – Infectious disease specialists agree that it cannot be predicted when the next influenza pandemic will occur. However, since documentation began in the 16th century, the world has witnessed an average of three global outbreaks of influenza per century. The 20th century has seen three such pandemics. The first and most devastating pandemic, known as ‘Spanish Flu’

Life and health trends in the 21st century

June 2008 – Around 70 representatives of primary insurance companies from all over Europe, and some from further afield, came together on 23 – 24 June 2008 at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue for a packed agenda of presentations, discussions and networking. Leading expert key note speakers addressed delegates, together with senior management from Swiss Re. All were focused on a single theme – growth opportunities, together with their accompanying risks, for life and health insurance markets in Europe.

Emphasis: Brazil's Reinsurance Transformation - Thought Leadership - Towers Perrin

De-monopolization of the reinsurance market offers the promise of new business opportunities for insurers, reinsurers and customers.

Changing Life Insurance in Japan - Thought Leadership - Towers Perrin

For years, Japan has earned respect as a giant in global insurance markets. It's the second largest market in the world, after the U.S. According to Swiss Re, total premium income in 2006 reached $363 billion, representing approximately one-sixth of total world life insurance premium income. Japanese life insurers are among the largest in the world, including the largest of all, Japan Post Insurance.

China and India -- Becoming Giants in Life - Thought Leadership - Towers Perrin

Life markets in China and India are developing quickly in parallel. It's tough for new entrants, but market conditions favor continued rapid expansion.

FS Islamic finance programme: Takaful: Growth opportunities in a dynamic market

The world’s youngest and most dynamic insurance market in reality traces its origins back more than 1,400 years. Takaful, the name for Islamic-compliant insurance, can be translated as “shared responsibility” and refers to the co-operative risk sharing beginnings of takaful – not unlike the birth of insurance within different communities in Europe and the US.

For more on Takaful, check out Takaful -- Islamic Insurance Stands Test of Time.

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