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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

European insurers paid out €2.7bn a day in 2015

The total amount paid out in claims and benefits over the course of 2015 from Europe’s insurers was €965bn (£817), the equivalent of €2.7bn a day according to Insurance Europe.

Insurance 'underpins every aspect of European life and business' ©Shutterstock
Insurance 'underpins every aspect of European life and business' ©Shutterstock

In their latest European Insurance in Figures report, it is seen that despite an unfavourable economic environment, the insurance industry paid out 1.6% more last year than it did in 2014.

It was also found that insurers were the largest institutional investors in Europe, investing €9.9trn into the European economy.

Insurance Europe director general, Michaela Koller, said: “The overall economic environment in 2015, although it improved slightly, remained unfavourable for insurers.

“Nevertheless, the industry paid out a total of €975bn in claims and benefits over the course of the year – the equivalent of €2.7bn every day.

“The volume of claims and benefits paid out by Europe’s insurers demonstrates the importance of insurance, which underpins every aspect of European life and business.”

The European insurance market is the largest in the world, and continued to grow in 2015, with total premiums increasing by 2% to €1,207bn, resulting in 32% of global market share according to the report.

Within that total, non-life business lines grew 2.4%, and there was an increase of 3.5% in the private health insurance sector as the pressures of ageing populations and rising medical costs hit many countries.

However, growth decreased in the life insurance sector, as extremely low interest rates continued to create a challenging environment in which to provide long-term products.

It was also found that average insurance penetration (gross written premiums as a percentage of GDP) decreased slightly in Europe from 7.62% in 2014 to 7.41% in 2015.

“To be able to continue to play their vital role, insurers need a robust and workable regulatory framework,” Koller continued.

“This must not only protect and give confidence to policyholders, but also allow insurers both to adapt their products and services to reflect changing policyholder needs and to invest in ways that benefit the European economy as a whole.”