In-force real premium income for life insurance in advanced markets is forecast to rise by 2.4% and 2.6% in 2016 and 2017 respectively, up from about 2% this year, says Swiss Re’s Global insurance review 2015 and outlook 2016/17.

In emerging markets, Swiss Re said life insurance in-force real premiums will grow by an estimated 10.7% in both 2016 and 2017.

Emerging Asia is expected to have the most robust growth of about 13% each year, said Swiss Re.

Swiss Re said in the advanced markets, life reinsurance premium growth is expected to decline slightly in 2016 and 2017 in real terms.

The reinsurer explained that in the US, regulatory changes – including increased scrutiny of the use of captive reinsurance and an expected move towards principles-based reserving – will impact business opportunities.

In other markets, traditional life reinsurance will continue to record low, single-digit growth in line with the protection business on the primary side. Growth in emerging market life reinsurance premiums is expected to be about 7% to 8% each year in 2016 and 2017.

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Commenting on the report, Kurt Karl, Swiss Re’s chief economist said: "Global economic growth is a good sign for insurers. This is especially so in the emerging markets, where urbanisation and growing wealth will support overall sector growth.

"We’ve said for some years now that emerging markets are the growth an engine for the insurance industry – and this is expected to continue for at least several years more."