Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 02/14/2014 -- Canada's insurance sector is world class in all respects and in terms of most metrics. Regardless of their formal structure, well capitalised and disciplined companies in both major segments are clearly focused on maximising returns for shareholders/policy-holders and, at the same time, delivering attractive and innovative products to their clients. The largest companies in both the life and the non-life segments have scale by most standards. In general, though, all companies combine advantages such as; financial strength; innovation; suitably broad product portfolios; multi-channel distribution. Consolidation is continuing in the fragmented non-life segment.
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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.
For all the advantages, and a regulatory regime that is rightly well-regarded, there are constraints. Notwithstanding that we expect that prices and rates in the non-life segment will remain firm, we do not see a catalyst for growth in non-life penetration, which is already at a fairly high level by international standards.
Further, and in contrast to the United States, there is no obvious reason why the insurers should benefit from the general growth in healthcare spending through the forecast period. In the life segment, the majors continue to face competition for their offerings from savings plans and mutual funds that do not have a life insurance element. Plus, thanks to Canada's general social security system, many of the risks that are covered by life insurance companies in other countries are handled by the government. Unsurprisingly, the major life companies have for a long time developed the ability to originate non-insurance wealth management solutions. The three largest have also expanded aggressively outside Canada - and particularly in the United States and parts of the Asia-Pacific.
Key BMI Forecasts
- Total gross premiums will rise by 2.7% to US$109bn in 2014.
- In the life segment, total gross premiums will increase by 2.3% to US$67bn.
- In the non-life segment, total gross premiums will grow by 3.4% to US$42bn.
- Within the non-life segment motor insurance premiums will rise by 4.5% to US$19bn.
- Property insurance premiums will expand by 3.6% to US$14bn.
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