Featured statistic: EUR 25 billion
Date 10 July 2007
In 2006, Dutch life insurers recorded EUR 25 billion in premium income (note 1), an increase of just little more than 1 per cent on 2005. Corrected for inflation, the said premium income even means a decrease by almost 1 per cent on the preceding year.
In fact, the market for life insurances in the Netherlands has been contracting (in real terms) these 5 past years. Several factors have contributed to this trend. The chief factor is the tax reform of 2001, by which the basic tax allowance for annuities was rescinded. Furthermore, for a number of years, the stock exchange and the economy developed less favourably, causing consumers to invest less in life insurance products. Also, insurers in recent years have had to contend with low long-term interest rates, which rendered long-term products with interest rate guarantees less attractive for insurers and consumers alike.
Added to this comes the fact that the market for individual life insurance products in the Netherlands was already fairly saturated. Finally, the fuss seen in the final months of 2006 over unit-linked insurances cannot have been conducive to the sale of such new policies in 2006.
Note 1: This is exclusive of the EUR 0.6 billion related to incidental transactions, which distorted the regular premium revenues.