Swiss Re Publishes Study on Latin American Insurance Industry

June 14, 2002

Swiss Re has released its latest “sigma” study, which examines the insurance industry in Latin America emphasizing the growth potential of the region, but warning of the necessity to increase profitability.

Sigma 2-2002 cited three main areas “impacting the Latin American insurance market, including:
– Growth opportunities: pension reforms and hardening premium rates around the world are becoming a source of new growth potential;
– Challenge to increase profitability: falling investment returns require better technical results;
– New distribution channels: while banks have positioned themselves, further channels continue to be tested.

The study shows much higher growth has occurred in the life and pension sector than in property/casualty lines, which have grown more or less in line with the gross domestic product (GDP) figures for the countries in the region.

Swiss Re called the sector “untapped,” noting that, “while in Latin America spending on non-life insurance corresponds to only 1.3 percent of GDP, the global average stands at 3 percent.”

There’s an even greater disparity in the life sector, where the study found that “spending in Latin America is 0.7 percent, compared to a global average of 4.9 percent.”

Swiss Re indicated that, “International investors have taken note of this fact. Foreign insurers, for example, have upped their investments in the region over the past ten years and now enjoy a significant market share.” In the p/c market foreign insurers control over 60 percent in Mexico and Chile, and over 40 percent in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela.

Swiss Re said that the English, German, French, Spanish and Italian versions of sigma No. 2/2002 are available its website: www.swissre.com.

Printed editions

can be ordered through the following Swiss Re offices:
via E-mail at – sigma@swissre.com
Zurich: tel. +41 43 285 2551, fax +41 43 285 4749
New York: tel. +1 212 317 5135, fax +1 212 317 5455
Hong Kong: tel. +852 25 82 5691, fax +852 25 11 6603

It reminded interested persons that their full postal address should be indicated with their order.

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