Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/24/2014 -- The news flow and data from Greece's insurance sector highlights three key themes. First, the economic crisis has finally had a (brutal) impact on those parts of the non-life segment that would normally be resilient. Second, premiums in the life segment held up remarkably well until the end of 2012. Third, the consolidation of Greece's banking sector is something of a wildcard, and may bring around a consolidation among insurance companies as well.
BMI's new insurance report format provides forecasts of the life and non-life markets, including gross and net premiums, reinsurance premiums and assets. Moreover, it provides forecasts for key growth drivers such as vehicle fleet size, demographic factors and private health expenditure. The report also contains a comprehensive breakdown of the non-life insurance market, providing forecasts for motor and transport insurance, property, personal accident, health, general liability and credit insurance. Finally, the new report offers a detailed breakdown of the life and non-life competitive landscapes, covering the top companies present in each segment by premiums and market share.
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As of early 2014, it is clear that conditions remain grim for many of the players in Greece's embattled insurance sector. An earlier boom in sales of investment-linked products reversed during 2013, with a result that revenues plunged by about one half. Premiums from traditional life policies dropped as well. It is no longer correct to describe the segment as resilient. Times remain tough in the non-life segment.
A new wildcard emerged in Q412 and remains relevant: this the movement by Greece's troubled banking sector towards a wholesale consolidation. The takeover bid by National Bank of Greece for Eurobank is a classic example of this. It remains to be seen what will be the final implications for the insurance companies that both parties own. A consolidation of the insurance sector would probably be good news, in that it would provide greater economies of scale and, for some players at least, more pricing power.
Key BMI Forecasts
- We expect that total premiums will fall by 1.9% to US$5.3bn in 2014.
- Life premiums should drop by 3.4% to US$2.1bn.
- Non-Life premiums should fall by 0.9% to US$3.2bn.
- Motor vehicle related premiums will likely be unchanged, at marginally over US$2.0bn.
- Property insurance premiums will likely slip by 1.6% to US$0.7bn
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