INSURANCE
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WORLD INSURANCE MARKET

Outside the United States, the insurance industry is usually classified as life and nonlife, or general insurance. The latter includes every form of insurance except life. Reinsurance, insurance for insurance companies, is purchased by both life and nonlife insurers.

The number of countries in the survey of world insurance premiums below, conducted by Swiss Re, increased from 66 in 1992 to 89 in 2001. To be included, countries must have had reliable data and direct premiums of over $100 million from 1992 to 1998, and over $150 million thereafter.
WORLD LIFE AND NONLIFE INSURANCE PREMIUMS, 1991-2000

(Direct premiums written, U.S. $ millions)


Year

Nonlife (1)

Life

Total
1992$697,503$768,436$1,465,939
1993792,0871,010,4901,802,731
1994846,6001,121,1861,967,787
1995906,7811,236,6272,143,408
1996909,1001,196,7362,105,838
1997896,8731,231,7982,128,671
1998891,3521,275,0532,166,405
1999912,7491,424,2032,336,952
2000922,4201,521,2532,443,673
2001969,0741,439,1772,408,252
(1) Includes accident and health insurance.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma, various issues.
  • Over the 10-year period, 1992 to 2001, total world insurance premiums grew 64.3 percent.
  • Nonlife premiums grew 38.9 percent over the same 10 years, while life business grew 87.3 percent.
  • In 2001, the inflation-adjusted growth rate from 2000 in the total world insurance market was 1.0 percent. Life premiums fell 1.8 percent, while nonlife premiums grew 5.4 percent. These inflation-adjusted changes were calculated using local currencies.