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The Europe Insurance Sectors : A Company and Industry Analysis (February 2005)

  • ID: 656192
  • Report
  • February 2005
  • Region: Europe
  • 32 pages
  • Mergent
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This report examines the insurance industry in Europe, focusing on the markets in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom
Current Environment - Key Points
- European insurers were hit by a series of natural disasters, including a number of major hurricanes in the US, the Caribbean and Japan in the summer of 2004
- New York's Attorney-General extended an investigation into alleged misuse of contingent commission in the insurance industry to three European firms in the US: the Netherlands- ING Group (EURONEXT: INGA), the UK's Benfield Group (LSE: BFD) and Germany's Munich Re (FSE: MUV2)
- As a result, shares in Munich Re, Allianz (FSE: ALV) and AXA (EURONEXT: CS) fell during October 2004
- Mergers and acquisitions of foreign companies continued to be popular in the second half of 2004 as a result of the buoyant economic environment
- The devaluation of the US dollar, high underwriting costs and the softening of the insurance markets continued to inspire European insurers to move non-core operations offshore

Industry Profile - Key Points
- Conservative investment strategies which largely focus on fixed income investments supplemented earnings in Europe's insurance sector in 2004, as evidenced by an increase of more than 10% in the P&C sector return on sales, and an overall growth of 4-5% growth in the life sector
- The ageing population has led to a boom in Europe's pension expenditure, and European governments are swiftly seeking necessary pension reforms to curb this growing problem
- The Governor of the Bank of England requested the treasury issue -longevity bonds- to help companies hedge against the rising life expectancy of pensioners
- A new European Commission law, passed on March 4, 2004, is set to have an impact on health insurers, as it allows EU citizens to have the same health benefits during a temporary stay in any member states as in their home country
Market Trends and Outlook - Key Points
- Industry analysts forecast that 2005 will be a profitable year for the insurance sector, backed up by premium rate improvements in recent years and a rosy business outlook
- Growth in Europe's life sector is expected to surpass that of the non-life sector in 2005, growing by 4-5%, and boosted by a shift in old age provision from state to private insurance
- Specialist insurance covers (flexible general insurance cover personally tailored to cover companies- unusual risks) are rising in demand as a direct result of European weather and liability exposures, exposing insurers to huge claims if disaster occurs
- The use of the internet in the industry is increasing in popularity as a cost-saving tool, as insurers seek to use limited budgets more efficiently

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Current Environment
- Sector Overview
- Sector Performance
- Leading Companies
- Mergers, Acquisitions and
Divestments
Industry Profile
- Industry Size and Value
- Europe's Pension Crisis
- Policy and Regulatory
Environment
Market Trends and Outlook
- Insurers on a Healthy Route
for 2005
- Specialist Insurance Escalates
- The Expanding Role of the
Internet
- Market Outlook
Country Profiles
- France
- Germany
- Italy
- Spain
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
Currency Conversion Table
The Scope of This Report
Key References
Comparative Data
Sales Contacts

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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