Insurance premiums to rise at moderate pace in near term - study
ZURICH, June 26 (Reuters) - Insurance premiums will increase at a moderate pace in the near-term, as flagging life insurance demand in Europe is offset by growth in emerging markets, a study by reinsurer Swiss Re said on Wednesday.
Weak economic growth and high unemployment in Europe have curbed demand for life insurance products, while low interest rates have weighed on insurers' investments.
However, the insurance sector should gain some relief from a pick up in premiums in emerging markets, as insurers in China and India adapt to changes in the regulatory environment there, according to the study, based on 147 insurance markets.
"The non-life side is more positive since the sector will benefit from the strong economic performance of emerging markets and selective rate increases in advanced markets," it said.
Surplus capacity means the rate increases will be moderate, however, while overall premium growth in the short term is expected to remain below pre-crisis trends, Swiss Re said.
Total global premiums written increased by 2.4 percent to $4.6 trillion last year, the reinsurer said.
(Reporting by Alice Baghdjian; Editing by Mark Potter)