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Although the global life insurance market saw revenues decline in 2011, its gross premium is expected to continue its growth path by rising at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5% over the next five years, to reach a market value of US$3,537 billion by 2017.
The industry is coming under a large amount of pressure, which is being intensified by various reasons such as, low interest rates raising concerns over spread compression, volatile equity markets increasing hedging costs and reserve requirements, impacts of the unfolding euro zone financial crisis -- particularly for multinationals, insistent investors wanting higher returns and the changing regulatory environment.
Life insurers in the United States face a conundrum as they head into 2012 -- managing both capital and risk in an economically and politically uncertain year, while continuing to lay the groundwork for future growth. The uncertain economic climate, compounded by ongoing concerns over US debt, continues to put pressure on life insurer ratings and capital levels.
European life insurers face important strategic decisions in 2012. Volatility and deterioration in macroeconomic and political factors are disrupting balance sheets, consumers and investors. Unfolding regulatory initiatives will have a pervasive influence on insurer operations. A mature insurance market across much of the landscape continues to make growth difficult to achieve.
The general outlook for the global insurance industry is mixed, a consequence of persistently challenging economic, market and regulatory circumstances. Other than Asia Pacific, where continued growth is expected in 2012, the rest of the world is mired in economic instability.
Europe, in particular, is saddled with ongoing political and macroeconomic uncertainty, affecting investors, consumers and insurer balance sheets.
For more information on the global life insurance market, see the latest research: Global Life Insurance Market
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