Nov 1, 2013

Latin America’s insurers are becoming ever-more important players in the region’s capital markets, as their assets under management expand rapidly

By Jason Mitchell

For insurance companies operating in Latin America, the opportunities are hard to miss.

The region has one of the world’s lowest insurance rates: premiums in Latin America are the equivalent of roughly 3% of GDP, compared to an average of 7% in the developed world, according to Moody’s. Brazil, for example, is the world’s sixth-biggest economy but it ranks 33rd in terms of insurance penetration, according to Allianz.

The catch-up potential is enormous—and the industry is expanding fast. Between 2008 and 2012, insurance premiums grew around 14% per year, in US dollar terms. That beat the 10% annual expansion in Asia-Pacific and was clear above the 2% worldwide average, according to Swiss Re Sigma.

Helga Jung, a member of the board at Swiss insurer Allianz, says the industry is looking in earnest to global emerging markets for growth. "The emerging markets will continue to...

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