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Global insurance industry to recover strongly from COVID-19 induced pull-back

09 July 2020 Swiss Re

• Global insurance premium volumes will recover to pre COVID-19 crisis levels in 2021
• Insurance demand will slow sharply in 2020 due to the pandemic; global life premiums will contract by 6% and non-life by 0.1%
• In life, saving products will be hardest hit; in non-life, travel and trade related lines will suffer most
• Led by China, emerging markets will underpin global market strength with total premiums up 1% this year and 7% in 2021
• Rate hardening in commercial lines will support profitability in non-life; rising risk awareness due to COVID-19 will support premium growth across many lines of business over the longer term

The insurance industry is set to overcome this year’s COVID-19-induced global economic recession, the latest Swiss Re Institute’s sigma says. The sharpest economic contraction since the 1930s will lead to a slump in demand for insurance in 2020, more so for life products, with global premiums expected to contract by 6%, than for non-life covers (-0.1%). However, total premium volumes will return to pre-crisis levels in 2021 already, alongside more protracted recovery in the global economy. There will be sector divergence, with non-life premium volumes above pre-crisis levels, and life below. The emerging economies, led by China, will underpin the insurance market comeback.

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