sigma 3/2021 - World insurance: the recovery gains pace
The world economy is recovering strongly from the COVID-19 crisis.
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Swift vaccine deployment and large-scale fiscal stimulus, including unprecedented direct transfers to households and businesses, are fueling a stronger economic bounce-back than we projected last year. We lift our global growth forecast to a historically high 5.8% in 2021. Insurance demand is benefitting from the growth momentum, and we forecast above-trend global premium growth of 3.3% in 2021 and 3.9% in 2022.
Rising risk awareness and the strongest rate hardening for 20 years in non-life insurance commercial lines will push total premium volumes 10% higher than pre COVID-19-crisis levels this year. By the end of 2022, we forecast that total global premium volumes will surpass USD 7 trillion for the first time ever.
The scales are tipped towards a positive insurance market outlook
The recovery may be uneven worldwide, as much still depends on the ability of vaccines to keep the pandemic under control. Rising inflation is also a key medium-term risk, particularly for non-life insurers.
However, on balance we have a positive outlook. The pandemic has cemented paradigm shifts that support the long-term outlook. In addition to rising risk awareness, which is proving a strong demand driver for both consumers and companies, a second shift is the acceleration in demand to transact online. It is imperative that insurers offer digital engagement at all touchpoints as they compete with new, non-traditional players entering insurance markets.