Insurance Europe: EUR 3.6 billion premiums written and EUR 2.9 billion paid claims every day by European insurers in 2018

9 October 2019 — Cosmin CONCEATU
European insurers wrote a total amount of EUR 1,311 billion in premiums and paid EUR 1,069 billion in claims and benefits during 2018, shows one of the latest Insurance Europe analysis.

According to Insurance Europe and Swiss Re's Sigma no. 3, European insurance markets made up 33% of 2018 global life premiums and 29% of global non-life premiums, showing a very dense insurance activity compared to other regions worldwide. At the end of December 2018, by combining life and non-life sectors together, Asia Pacific represented 32.4% of global premiums, Europe 31.6%, North America 30.8%, Latin America & Caribbean 3.1% and Middle East & Africa 2.1%.

The report shows that, in 2018, in Insurance Europe consolidated markets, life GWP totaled EUR 764 billion (+6.7% y-o-y), P&C GWP was EUR 407 billion (+5.7% y-o-y) while health GWP reached EUR 140 billion (+4.8% y-o-y). Most claims and benefits were paid for life business lines (EUR 705 billion), followed by P&C (EUR 253 billion) and health (EUR 111 billion).


The insurance penetration degree at European level, calculated as GWP percentage from GDP, was 7.46%, up by 0.21 pp. year-on-year, ranging from 0.5% in Liechtenstein to 14.3% in UK. The insurance density was EUR 2,170 per capita, up by 5.9% y-o-y, most of this sum being directed towards life insurance (EUR 1,264), then P&C (EUR 673, of which EUR 238 on motor and EUR 174 on property) and health insurance (EUR 232).

Here are a few facts of the European insurance industry at the end of 2018, according to Insurance Europe analysis (detailed information can be found here):

Life insurance facts:

  • Total GWP: EUR 764 billion (+6.7% compared to 2017);
  • Total claims and benefits paid: EUR 705 billion (+2.6%);
  • Life penetration degree, in GDP: 4.53% (+0.41 pp.) - ranging from 0.2% in Latvia to 9.6% in UK;
  • Life density, per capita: EUR 1,264 (+6.3%) - ranging from EUR 22 in Romania to over EUR 3,000 in Finland, UK and Denmark;
  • Traditional life business lines remained fairly stable year-on-year (+0.3%) and accounted for 75.2% of total life premiums volume;
  • Unit-linked business lines shrunk by 5.2% y-o-y, decreasing in their share in life sector as well, to 24.8%;
  • Premiums from individual contracts fell 1.5% and accounted for 80.4% of all life premiums;
  • Premiums collected through group contracts registered a slight increase of 0.7% in 2017, and accounted for 19.6% of all life insurance premiums.

P&C insurance facts:

  • Total GWP: EUR 407 billion (+5.7% compared to 2017), of which Motor business lines accounted for 35% of total GWP, Property 26%, General liability 10%, Accident 9% and the rest 20%;
  • Total claims: EUR 253 billion (+5.6%), where Motor claims accounted for highest share, while Property claims jumped 9.7%;
  • P&C penetration degree, in GDP: 2.32% (+0.06 pp.)
  • P&C density, per capita: EUR 673 (+5.3%)
  • Motor insurance was the largest P&C business line, both in terms of GWP and claims paid:
    • Motor GWP: EUR 144 billion (+3.8%);
    • Motor claims: EUR 100 billion (+3.3%);
    • Motor density: EUR 238 per capita;
  • Property insurance was the second largest P&C segment in 2018 at European level:
    • Property GWP: EUR 105 billion (+4.8%);
    • Property claims: EUR 65 billion (+9.7%);
    • Property density: EUR 114 per capita;

Health insurance facts:

  • Total GWP: EUR 140 billion (+4.8% compared to 2017);
  • Total claims and benefits: EUR 111 billion (+4.0%), the average claim per capita increased from EUR 186 in 2017 to EUR 193;
  • Health penetration degree, in GDP: 0.80% (+0.01 pp.), varying from EUR 1 in Hungary to over EUR 2,700 in Netherlands (the differences are strongly influenced by national practices regarding public and private health insurance);
  • Health density, per capita: EUR 232 (+4.5%).

More facts and figures, including distribution channels, the number of companies and employees, as well as the investment portfolios of European insurers, can be found in "European Insurance - Key Facts - September 2019" presentation.


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