The latest “sigma” report from Swiss Re, “Insurance markets in Asia: sanguine outlook despite short-term uncertainties,” outlines current and future trends in Asia’s $600 billion insurance market. It notes that life insurance prospects are particularly good in the region.
The study makes the following “key findings:”
– The globalisation of Asia’s insurance markets is set to gather steam, particularly on the back of the gradual opening up of the two most important future growth markets – China and India.
– Deregulation has gained widespread acceptance in Asia, resulting in a pronounced drift towards solvency-based supervision.
– Insurers will intensify their quest for more cost-efficient distribution channels. Aided by the scrapping of regulatory obstacles, bancassurance is likely to gain prominence. Internet distribution will continue to be explored, but the focus is expected to be on the enhancement rather than the disintermediation of traditional agency channels.
– Consolidation will continue to characterise most insurance marketplaces, but regional differences in terms of the pace and rationale for consolidation will become more pronounced.
It concludes that, with the exception of Japan, “Asia’s insurance markets have bounced back from the slump following the Asian financial crisis with non-life and life insurance business expected to grow annually by 7.9% and 8.9% in real terms, from 2001 to 2005”.
A copy of the full report may be obtained from Swiss Re at its website: http://www.swissre.com, by e-mail at: email@example.com, or by contacting the company’s New York office – tel: 212 317 5135; fax: 212 317 5455
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