Life and health in high growth markets

Swiss Re is working closely with local and global insurers to close the protection gap in high growth markets.

Analysis of the protection gap — the difference between the protection needed and the protection in place to maintain the living standards of dependents in the event of the death of the primary breadwinner — demonstrates that under-insurance is a massive global issue. This is particularly true in high growth markets. A Swiss Re study of eight markets in Latin America revealed a combined protection gap of USD 7.2 trillion (equivalent to 138% of GDP). In many cases the protection gap is even widening. In Brazil the gap increased from 2003 to 2012 even though life insurance penetration (premiums as a percentage of GDP) rose from 0.7% to 2.0% over the same period. The underlying reasons for protection gaps differ depending on the country, requiring country-specific products and distribution solutions to close them. Life insurers need to be proactive in helping customers fit life insurance into their lives and budgets.

Swiss Re is working closely with local and global insurers to develop affordable solutions to help minimise the gap for everyone, from the affluent to those below the poverty line. Product innovation is one way to address the issue. Technology solutions such as Magnum, our automated underwriting engine, can also help. In high growth markets, both reinsurance and local market expertise are crucial to building sustainable insurance markets. Swiss Re is committed to investing in and developing local talent in order to allow these markets to thrive.