27 March 2014

Sigma data reveal more must be done to unlock risk

An interactive data tool from Swiss Re’s sigma team casts light on the need to continue to drive insurance penetration globally.

Sigma data reveals that while insurance penetration in emerging market has doubled since 1980, from a low base of 0.6 percent of GDP to 1.2 percent today, the figure for developed market growth during the period has been sluggish.

Developed economy penetration grew from 3 percent in 1980 to the 3.6 percent it is today; only a 20 percent increase over a 35 year period. This is in spite of economic development and rising economic losses during the period.

According to data from sigma there has also been a steady rise in global economic losses, with loss levels spiking since 2000. While significant loss years in the 1970-1980s resulted in $50-60 billion of loss, the figures have leapt up since.

Significant loss years have regularly topped $150 billion post-2000 and yet insurance take-up continues to lag well behind economic loss.

It is apparent that the industry must do more to highlight its value proposition and to unlock risks that currently reside at the state level.

While many in the industry are evidently concerned about the competitive environment, such figures provide some indication of the potential opportunities the industry can hope to unlock.

To gain your own insights into loss data visit sigma's explorer.