European insurance market in third place in the world

According to the annual study published by Insurance Europe, the European (re)insurance federation, Europe is in third place of the world global insurance market in 2017, behind Asia and North America.

In 2017, total insurance premiums in Europe were 1,213 billion Euros, increasing 4.7% compared to 2016. Life insurance accounted for 59% of these premiums, i.e. 710 billion Euros (+5%). With premiums of 371 billion Euros in 2017 (30% of premiums), non-life insurance was up by 4.4% over the year. Health insurance recorded growth of 3.9% in 2017, with turnover of 132 billion Euros.

The European insurance sector is the second in the world, accounting for 30% of global insurance premiums, behond Asia (33%) and North America (31%).

France, Germany and the United Kingdom are the largest players on the European market.


 Insurance premiums by country in billions of Euros (2017)

United Kingdom (UK) 283,6 Portugal (PT)  10,7
France (FR) 211,6 Czech Republic (CZ) 5,6
Germany (DE) 198 Greece (GR) 3,7
Italy (IT) 130,9 Hungary (HU) 3,1
The Netherlands (NL) 70 Luxembourg (LU) 2,5
Spain (ES) 62,2 Romania (RO) 2,1
Switzerland (CH) 48,9 Slovakia (SK) 2,1
Sweeden (SE) 33,5 Slovenia (SI) 2,1
Denmark (DK)  31,2 Croatia (HR) 1,2
Belgium (BE) 25,8 Bulgaria (BG) 1,1
Finland (FI) 22,8 Cyprus (CY) 0,9
Austria (AT) 17,1 Malta (MT) 0,5
Irland (IE) 15,3 Estonia (EE) 0,3
Norway (NO)  15,2   Latvia (LV) 0,2
Poland (PL) 14,4 Liechtenstein (LI)  0,06 
Turkey (TR) 11,3    


In 2017, European insurers paid out 1,022 billion Euros to their insured parties. Of this figure, 668 billion was paid under life insurance contracts (insurance contracts payable on survival, on death, etc.), 248 billion under non-life insurance contracts (mainly motor and property insurance) and 106 billion under health insurance contracts.

The insurance sector is the European Union’s leading institutional investor. European insurers invested more than 10,000 billion Euros in the economy in 2017 (an increase of 2%), i.e. the equivalent of 63% of the EU’s GDP. 

Finally, in 2017 the 3,400 insurance companies operating in Europe directly employed 950 000 people.