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Working papers

  • 28 Sep 2016

    We challenge the common wisdom that the income elasticity of insurance be higher, ceteris paribus, in developing countries (the so-called S-curve hypothesis). Focusing on non-life insurance, we show that the available evidence is contradictory and heavily dependent on methodology. Based on a recent approach to consistent inference on the income elasticity of insurance, we show counterexamples to the theory. Although not supporting it in general, we argue that it could still be relevant for explaining the behaviour of particular lines of business.

    373 kb

  • The development of Italian private pension plans shows little progress, in spite of generous fiscal incentives. We show that few subjects contribute and even fewer fully exploit the fiscal advantage. Our analysis underlines that in evaluating fiscal incentives Italian savers are influenced by a wide range of heuristics. So there is room for skillful public and private decision makers to reach the goal of increasing the private pension pillar taking advantage of the way people really take their decisions.

    2 mb

  • This paper analyses the impact of the evolution of the regulation dealing with systemically important insurance groups, using an event study methodology. The results show that investors were able to detect which companies were to be designated well ahead of the publication of the list. Most important, after an initial positive reaction, consistent with the expectation of a “Too-big-to-fail” implicit subsidy, the disclosure on how the capital charges for systemic insurers will be calculated led to sizeable negative abnormal returns for the entities concerned.

    2 mb

  • Civil law inefficiency is a potential limiting factor both for economic development at large and for that of insurance. We contend that the excessive length of civil trials, reducing the present value of the claim in case of litigation, is an important obstacle to the development of the non-life market. We test this hypothesis on data from Italy, where the average trial lasts very long but there is also a big geographical variance. The data support our hypothesis.

    364 kb

  • We study the effect of moral hazard involved in non market contracts on the demand for marketed contracts. We provide a rigorous definition of Social Network and Social Capital by means of an equilibrium concept typical of the Network literature.

    2 mb

  • This research aims at assessing the drivers of insurance consumption and testing whether these observable economic, social and demographic factors are able to fully account for regional variability in insurance density or, on the converse, diffusion effects of some kind, such as cross-border or global spillovers, are present.

    644 kb

  • Portfolios of Italian families are rather incomplete, averaging just two stocks per family over the Nineties. This lack of diversification may be due to different reasons: liquidity constraints, transaction or information costs; or individual preferences. In the paper the reasons for incompleteness are investigated on the basis of an asset allocation model. Only the italian version of this work is available.

    528 kb

Market research

  • 17 Jun 2016

    Economic growth in Euro area continued but remained frail sustained by the recovery of the internal demand with positive impact on insurance sector in almost all European Countries. The macroeconomic scenario characterized by very low bond yields, especially in the core European markets, was still a burden for the life insurance; the only notable exception was Spain where gross written premiums, after years of a negative trend, increased versus the previous year thanks to the performance of the risk business (+7.6%) driven by the recovery of the housing market. The new wave of uncertainty that affected financial markets at the end of the year re-oriented life insurance demand, previously focused on unit linked products, towards traditional product with guarantees.

    763 kb

  • 30 Jun 2015

    During 2014 the improvement in financial conditions created opportunities for the insurance business in most of the European markets, where premium income and profitability were broadly on the rise. In the Euro area, life insurance premiums experienced substantial growth in several markets, maintaining and even overtaking the good performance of 2013. However, there are two exceptions to this trend: Germany, where growth slowed down and where the persistence of a low interest rate environment negatively affected the appeal of guaranteed and may represent a threat to companies financial stability, and Spain, where there was only a moderate level of growth in the life premiums in contrast to substantial contraction in past year. Low investment return combined with Solvency II Requirements have rapidly shifted the product mix in favor of Unit Linked policies.

    6 mb

  • 30 Jun 2014

    In 2013, the European insurance industry posted overall positive results. Life insurance premiums increased while the performance of non-life insurance was on average in line with that of 2012. In Italy, in 2013, total turnover was up 13.3%. In particular, life premiums (direct Italian business) grew by 22.5%; new business was up 31.3%.

    5 mb

  • 28 Jun 2013

    Market uncertainty and volatility heavily affected the performance of insurance industry in 2012. Life insurance turnover continued to contract in many of the main European markets due to the same factor which depressed premium growth in 2011, namely low household savings ratio and the unappealing level of guaranteed yields, especially in comparison with those of bank products, which were also supported by aggressive marketing strategies. These factors are clearly at play in the Italian market, where premiums were down 3.8%. Much of the fall was recorded in the first part of the year: the rebound in confidence following ECB action in September boosted collection in the final quarter of the year.

    392 kb

  • 29 Jun 2012

    In 2011 the performance of the Italian insurance industry was heavily affected by the difficult financial and economic situation in Europe. Premium income in the life sectors dropped all over Europe compared with the previous year, as the difficult economic conditions facing families seriously hindered their propensity to save. On top of that, the decline in guaranteed returns due to pre-crisis low interest rate environment, combined with the effect of strong competition from other savings products, especially those distributed by banks, contributed to further wors-en the life insurance performance. This trend was apparent on the Italian market, where life premium income fell by 12.3% (reaching 18.3% if we take into account direct Italian premium income) and where bancassurance channel recorded an over 25% decline in premiums .

    937 kb

  • 29 Jul 2011

    The stabilisation of the financial markets during 2009 promoted the growth The strong recovery of premium income recorded in the life sector in 2009 continued on all the main markets in 2010. Growth was again driven by low risk products which offer a minimum guaranteed return; demand for these products benefited from a rather steep yield curve and the volatility of the stock markets, which in many countries penalised the growth of linked products. The Italian market was once again the most dynamic, with 9.2% growth.

    451 kb

  • 30 Jul 2010

    The stabilisation of the financial markets during 2009 promoted the growth of insurance premium income on all the main European markets, with the single exception of the UK. The growth in premium income was driven by the life sector which, in a European economic and financial context characterised by very low short-term interest rates, recorded increased demand for accumulation life policies with a low financial risk content and far more attractive returns.

    525 kb

  • 27 Jun 2008

    2007 represents the second consecutive year of decline on the Italian insurance market after over 20 years’ non-stop growth. Direct insurance premiums have fallen by 7%, compared with a decline of 2.9% in 2006. The trend must be considered in relation to the 11.4% decrease in the life sector, whereas non-life maintained a modest growth trend of 1.3% (2.4% in 2006).

    723 kb

  • 31 Aug 2007

    The Insurance Dossier, now at its 11th issue, aims as usual at providing an overview of the main trends of the Italian insurance market and their interpretation, in a national and international context. The Dossier, published as an insert to Assicurazioni Generali’s corporate magazine “Il Bollettino”, was originally designed to explain market trends to the company’s employees and staff, but has gradually turned into an independent publication, addressing observers and analysts in the industry. In 2006, after nearly 20 years’ non-stop, sometimes tumultuous growth, the Italian insurance market showed a 2.9% decline in revenues, thus reversing the trend exhibited on the main European markets. This trend is explained by the decline in life insurance premiums (down 5.6%), while premiums in the non-life sector grew slightly (up 2.4%).

    353 kb

  • 31 May 2006

    The Insurance Dossier was first published ten years ago, following the endorsement by Italy of the so-called EU’s Third Generation Directives. Conceived as an attachment to the Assicurazioni Generali corporate magazine “Il Bollettino”, and aiming primarily to explain market trends to employees and staff of the Company, particularly to those spread throughout the country, the Insurance Dossier has gradually turned into an independent publication, addressing observers and analysts of the sector.

    386 kb

  • 29 Apr 2005

    The 9th issue of the Insurance Dossier has largely remained unchanged as compared to last years. Readers are provided with a description and interpretation of current trends in the Italian and European markets as for turnover, distribution channels, leading players, profitability. As in the last editio n, the profitability of the Italian market has been derived from the results published by listed groups and is the first indication of the year for the Italian market.

    286 kb

  • 30 Jun 2004

    The eighth issue of the Insurance Dossier is presented in a double version. From now on, the yearly publication edited by Assicurazioni Generali Research Department on the main trends of the Italian insurance market will have two issues. This first short version is published in Spring and gives a brief outline of the main issues concerning the Italian insurance market, such as premiums, operators, profitability and premium income forecasts. Since all the necessary information is not yet available (e.g. the financial statements of all the operating companies), estimates have been made and data have been processed on a sample of companies. The second issue will be released in Autumn. It will basically have the same contents as the traditional issue of the Insurance Dossier, though a more thorough and in-depth analysis of the relevant data will be made over a time span of at least five years.

    292 kb

  • 30 Jun 2003

    This 7th issue of the Insurance Dossier has been published by the Research Department of Assicurazioni Generali after less than two years. During this forced break we were pleased to receive inquiries and demands for further insights, as well as several distinguished requests to continue our work which have spurred the publication of this new issue. Contents have largely remained unchanged as compared to previous issues. Readers are provided with a description and interpretation of current trends in the Italian insurance market and its different aspects such as turnover, distribution channels, main operators, profitability and many more. Greater emphasis has been given to the analysis of trends characterising European markets, which are increasingly connected at economic and legislative level; an insight on current trends in European distribution has therefore been added.

    804 kb