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Swiss Re: Insurance premiums rose in 2017; emerging markets driving life growth

Global insurance premiums continued to rise in 2017, albeit at a somewhat slower pace than a year earlier, according to a recently released report.

The study, authored by the Swiss Re Institute, showed that insurance premiums ticked up about 1.5% year over year to nearly US$5 trillion in 2017 after rising 2.2% in 2016.

Global life premiums rose 0.5% to roughly $2.7 trillion, while non-life premiums increased 2.8% to $2.2 trillion. A slowdown in the life sector in advanced markets such as the U.S. and Western Europe was primarily responsible for the weaker growth rate. Emerging markets, especially China, are driving global premium growth, particularly in the life sector, according to Swiss Re.

The Swiss Re Institute expects that global non-life premiums will rise, with the U.S. leading the way as its economy gathers steam. Global life insurance premiums are also expected to climb over the next several years due to ongoing strong growth in China.