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Chilean insurers' profits jump 22.7% in 2015 on higher sales

Chileaninsurance companies posted a total profit of $605 million in 2015, up 22.7% fromthe previous year, as higher sales offset an increase in claim costs and lower incomefrom investments, Chilean securities and insurance regulator SVS said April 4.

Lifeinsurance companies reported a profit of $538.8 million, up 18% year over year,mainly due to higher sales partly offset by higher claim costs and reduced incomefrom investments, the regulator noted. Meanwhile, general insurancecompanies posted a profit of $65.7 million, up 82.6% from a year ago, due to highersales and lower intermediation costs, partly offset by higher expenses on technicalreserves, higher claim costs and lower income from investments.

Totalsales in the insurance market were $10.43 billion, up 14.5% year over year. Salesin the life insurance segment grew 18.7% in real terms to $7.15 billion, while generalinsurance sales rose 6.4% in the same period to $3.28 billion, according to theSVS.

The topthree life insurers in terms of total premiums were MetLife Chile Seguros de Vida SA, Consorcio Nacional de Seguros SA and Sura, which saw salesrise 4.4%, 30.1% and 29.4%, respectively. The top three general insurers were , and , which sawsales rise 10.52%, 15.34% and 11.86%, respectively.

In termsof their investment portfolio, life insurers had 62.8% of their investment in nationalfixed income instruments, while general insurers reported 77.3% of their portfoliosin these instruments.

Lifeinsurance companies showed solvency and debt indicators in line with their historicallevels, but general insurers saw their solvency decline and their debt levels risedue to higher claims, the SVS said.