The organisation predicts that the coming economic slump, set to be the sharpest and most brutal for nearly a century, will result in a drop in demand for insurance products, particularly those in the life segment. Global premiums are likely to contract by as much as six per cent for life cover and around 0.1 per cent for non-life, although it is hoped that total premium volumes will return to their pre-Covid-19 levels by next year. The comeback will, perhaps unsurprisingly, by led by the likes of China and other emerging economies.
Additionally, while there is still no real way of knowing what the ultimate impact of coronavirus-related claims will be on the industry – estimates currently sit at around US$55 billion – Swiss Re Institute is confident that global insurance has enough capital to absorb the loss and bounce back.
“The insurance industry is showing resilience in the fact of the economic downturn,” said Group Chief Economist Jerome Jean-Haegeli. “The magnitude of premium losses will be similar to that seen during the global financial crisis in 2008-09, even though this year’s contraction will be much more severe. Unlike the global economy, we expect a strong V-shaped recovery in insurance premiums, a remarkable showing considering that the world is currently in the throes of the deepest recession ever.”