Reports recently published by AILO have revealed that an estimated £57bn of new cross-border life premiums were written globally in 2022. This compares to £68bn in 2021 representing a decrease of 17.2% after a welcome return to pre-pandemic levels in 2021.

In a second report focusing specifically on the European cross-border life market, the largest region for such business globally, new premiums were at an estimated €42bn in 2022, down from €52bn in 2021, a decline of 19.5% year on year.

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Here’s a summary of the highlights of these Global and European cross-border life reports:

  • At a Global level, the rankings of the regions remained the same in 2022, but third placed UK is now only marginally behind second ranked North America. Europe, excluding the UK, remained the leading region in 2022 at 63.7% of total global new premiums written, up from 66.1% in 2021. North America saw its share remain constant at 12.5%, but the UK came close in 2022 at 12.4%, up from 11.1% in 2021. Asia-Pacific experienced a small recovery to 3.8% in 2022 after its significant fall to 3.5% in 2021, down from 11.5% in 2020. The Middle East increased its share to 6.4% in 2022, up from 5.4% in 2021. Latin America with a 0.9% share in 2022 was down on the previous year’s figure of 1.1%. Africa maintained its 0.3% share in 2002 and still represents the smallest global sales region. The sector continues to be dominated by European sources of business with the Europe plus UK regions responsible for 76.1% of global cross-border life business, down slightly from 2021’s 77.2% share.
  • The total new premium figure of £57bn equates to 3.0% of total new global life premiums, up slightly from 2.9% in 2021, and 9.4% of total new life premiums in the advanced markets of Europe as measured by Swiss Re, down from 10.6% in 2021. The global cross-border life market in 2022 is estimated to be only 2% smaller than the domestic life market in Canada,the 10th ranked domestic life market globally. 
  • This analysis reflects the trends seen in other life insurance data sources for 2022 which also show lower levels of new business activity. This 2022 result (£57bn) follows a post-pandemic recovery in 2021 (£68bn) but is now at levels below the peak-COVID period in 2020 (£58.0bn). Tougher global economic conditions and the Ukraine war in particular are the main factors in this decline.

Commenting on the results, Simon Willoughby, AILO Proposition Executive, said:

“This is the fifth year of AILO’s Global Cross-border Life Report and the third year for the European Cross-border Life Report with both reporting a similar drop-off in new business in 2022. However, over the years, the cross-border life sector has generally proved itself to be remarkably resilient in the face of economic turmoil and has generally not experienced the wild fluctuations seen in other sectors. It is hoped that when economic conditions stabilise that the cross-border sector will make a similar recovery”. allowing AILO Members to benefit from the management information these reports provide.”

Global Cross-border Life Market Report
European Cross-border Life Market Report
Simon Willoughby, AILO Proposition Executive