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European Insurance Industry: Financial Assessment of the European Insurance Industry

The European insurance industry is struggling with the volatile macroeconomic environment and regulatory changes while also incorporating changes in technology and business model to be at par with its global peers.

While premium growth is accelerating, pressure on profitability continues due to low investment income and the uncertain economic environment. Growth in premiums is different for different countries in Europe, but is led by emerging economies in Eastern Europe.

 The European insurance industry has remained somewhat resilient to the 2008 financial crisis, which did not have much impact on its returns statistics.

Threats of deflation are rising in Europe and can have a negative impact on this industry. Changes in the preferences and demands of the consumer; corporate and technology developments creating new areas of risk to be insured; and industry consolidation in search for better distribution network (online or physical) are some factors that are likely to drive industry growth.

Life and health (L&H), and property and casualty (P&C) insurance revenues are growing at a steady pace despite the challenging macroeconomic situation. However, as situations are expected to worsen in the near future, decreased premium growth and lower investment income are expected unless insurers use diversification as a strategy to enhance returns.

Operational costs have decreased due to investment in upgraded technology, and the cost-effective online distribution structure has led to increased profitability in the industry. Underwriting ratios have witnessed improvement but the industry is not well placed in terms of policy holders surplus to cover future claims.

Overall, the insurance industry is well positioned financially and ready to face the challenges that lie ahead.


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