Life insurance by the numbers in 2013

Investment portfolio of life assurers has grown to 900 billion EUR

German life insurers are accumulating more and more capital for their customers. In all, the money invested by life insurers rose in 2013 to over 900 billion EUR. The investment portfolio managed directly by life insurance companies and staff pension funds (“Pensionskassen”) grew in 2013 by 32 billion EUR to 824 billion EUR (year before: 792 billion EUR). There were also nearly 78 billion EUR (year before: 66 billion) in investments made for fund linked policies.

These figures were published today in Berlin in GDV’s new brochure, German life insurance by the numbers in 2014, which contains key data about the structure of the industry. These investments and the resulting income form the basis for financing the old age provision of policy holders.

Over 200 million EUR in benefits paid per day
German life insurers already bear significant responsibility for the insurance of income in old age. In 2013, the benefits paid to customers by companies increased by 4.9 per cent to 80.2 billion EUR (year before: 76.5 billion EUR). Life insurers thus pay out over 200 million EUR each day.

Meanwhile, the share of benefits paid out early (“repurchase values“) decreased from 19.0 to 18.5 per cent. This decline was attributable to the cancellation rate, which, at 3.32 per cent (year before: 3.48 per cent), decreased once again to the lowest level since 1993. In the current challenging environment, this can be viewed as proof of customer trust in life insurance.

Declining administrative cost ratio
The recent trend in administrative costs has continued: The administrative cost ratio, which measures costs in relation to gross premiums written, decreased to 2.3 per cent (year before: 2.4 per cent). In 1985, this ratio was still over 6 per cent. The decrease in administrative costs becomes even more apparent when compared, as is common in the investment fund industry, to the capital managed by life insurers. Measured in terms of the investment portfolio, the administrative costs of life insurers amounted to only 0.24 per cent in 2013. In 1985, this ratio was four times higher.

>> Life Insurance Reform – Changes for Insured and Insurers