Services Insurance industry: Gross premiums are growing again

At the end of 2017, roughly 1,288 direct insurance and reinsurance companies and pension funds were operating in Germany. While direct insurers cover various risks of private individuals and businesses, reinsurers cover the risks of other insurance companies. Pension funds are a type of employee pension scheme.

The insurance industry as a whole achieved gross premiums to the amount of roughly 277 billion euros in 2017. Direct insurers accounted for almost 208 billion euros (74.9%). The total volume of premiums was up by 3.9% year-on-year, so that – following the stagnation in 2016 – the previous long-term growth trend (2015: +4.0%) picked up again. The largest increase in gross premiums was observed for indemnity and accident insurance (+7.9%), while the pension funds registered losses of -11.8%. However, accounting for just 0.01% of the total volume of gross premiums recorded, the pension funds are barely significant. The volume of life assurance premiums remained nearly unchanged so that the negative trend seen in previous years was stopped (2016: -1.7% and 2015: -2.6%).

At the end of 2017, approximately 156,000 people were employed in the insurance industry, which was a decrease of roughly 4,600 people (-2.9%) year-on-year. Following staff increases in both life assurance and health insurance in 2016 (+4.4% and +14.7%, respectively), staff reductions were recorded in both areas in 2017 (-3.1% and -12.3%, respectively). The decrease in employment in indemnity and accident insurance (-3.1%) continued in 2017.