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Insurance Corporations

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This chapter looks at the trends in the insurance corporations sector (S.128), which includes life, non-life and reinsurance activity. This sector consists of all financial corporations and quasi-corporations which are principally engaged in financial intermediation as a consequence of the pooling of risks, mainly in the form of direct insurance or reinsurance.

(AF.2) Currency and Deposits(AF.3) Debt Securities(AF.4) Loans(AF.5) Equity and Investment Fund Shares/Units(AF.6) Insurance, Pensions and Standardised Guarantee Scheme(AF.7) Financial Derivatives and Employee Stock Options(AF.8) Other Accounts ReceivableTotal
201221.24952260665.511654823.674577984110.19645494828.3523349662.23479190315.461649443246.68098667
201320.05125727863.7379495311.97396805124.73214262626.6981263571.6185986915.400102187254.212144719
201419.37915663870.4526799062.008147148147.84376955631.9909290332.31599750317.000745335290.991425119
201521.63836097473.1532051952.167612932163.78131410833.7333955561.64872695220.356454404316.479070121
201621.17662533671.6965386723.514152938177.1191236935.3368156281.66948741922.219611769332.732355452
201722.57223041370.1665125383.638919551194.05312402631.9184603141.45174384820.67858054344.47957123
201821.78346714470.652854993.864193453189.12777645631.3895350811.40441010222.912207099341.134444325

Get the data: StatBank (IFI03)

The size of the balance sheet of the insurance corporations sector increased every year during the period between 2012 and 2017, and remained broadly unchanged between 2017 and 2018 at just over €340bn.

Assets were largely made up of debt securities (AF.3) and equity (AF.5), which combined comprise over 76% of total balance sheet assets in 2018.

(AF.4) Loans(AF.5 + AF.7) Equity, Investment Fund Shares/Units, Financial Derivatives and Employee Stock Options(AF.6) Insurance, Pensions and Standardised Guarantee Scheme(AF.8) Other Accounts ReceivableTotal
20124.15636098228.393421616206.73779819614.21869126253.506272054
20133.50597066725.770851255212.16237522615.45817392256.897371068
20143.81980285628.056630784246.51796810416.122261743294.516663487
20154.08641998530.909782145267.4248594318.351096791320.772158351
20164.09678978934.21901754279.52444976619.143689967336.983947062
20173.21805050134.843268508292.9440729917.993355681348.99874768
20183.3532178636.905777229285.74663420420.061487248346.067116541

Get the data: StatBank (IFI03)

The increase in liabilities between 2012 and 2018 was mainly driven by insurance, pensions and standardised guarantee schemes (AF.6), which rose by €79bn between 2012 and 2018 and accounts for 83% of the total liabilities in 2018. The other instruments play a minor role in the development of the liabilities.

Total Assets (Rest of the World)Total Assets (Ireland)
2012192.36662698254.314359688
2013205.95855344948.25359127
2014240.01275253250.978672587
2015264.53625835351.942811767
2016279.56964265153.162712802
2017291.94366213352.535909095
2018288.7598945152.374549815

Assets held abroad rose by €96.4bn between 2012 and 2018, accounting for more than 80% of total assets in 2018. The assets held in Ireland have ranged between €48.3bn and €54.3bn in the period 2012 to 2018.

Total Liabilities (Rest of the World)Total Liabilities (Ireland)
2012143.075729604110.43054245
2013152.696310969104.201060099
2014178.892050616115.62461287
2015198.531760378122.240397973
2016210.601118533126.382828529
2017222.383504522126.615243158
2018220.670887659125.396228883
Show Table: Table 7.1 Total Assets and Total Liabilities of Insurance Corporations (by residency), 2012-2018

From 2012 to 2018 both the liabilities held in Ireland and the liabilities held abroad have increased, with foreign liabilities at a higher rate. The share of liabilities held abroad in 2018 is 64% or €125.4bn.

Life-InsuranceNon-life InsuranceReinsuranceTotal
200963151130344
201064145126335
201163141120324
201263133106302
20135912690275
20145410867229
20155010772229
20165311068231
20175111377241
20185210572229
Show Table: Table 7.2 Number of Insurance Corporations (by type), 2009-2018

The number of insurance companies has declined from 344 in 2009 to 229 in 2018. This reduction can be mainly attributed to a decrease in the number of reinsurance and non-life insurance companies, which reduced by 58 and 46 companies respectively between 2009 and 2018, with the majority of the decrease occurring between 2009 and 2014. The number of insurance companies remained relatively steady in the recent five years.

Gross Premiums EarnedOther Services ProducedGross Claims IncurredCapital Gains and ProvisionsPortfolio Investment IncomeProduction Value
200937.6551.876-27.28-5.3774.66411.539
201039.1442.045-29.949-4.034.71711.928
201138.871.673-40.0786.3494.12210.936
201241.6951115761.650519868-37.7163988532.9585208133.89887987612.48663328
201344.835575412362.11356268357-34.82626283908-3.7262413213.63716277812.03379671385
201447.078368076371.65233801815-34.83621732805-4.000311619183.5248437194313.41902086672
201554.482153544361.88304274737-38.27383111826-7.031513881163.3598954471214.41974673943
201648.1204887542.08022910927-37.2730539268-1.310434515812.8713480900214.48857751068
201752.6925709852.40963373009-39.4530762394-3.93331271533.1051620606814.82097782107
201850.5792661272.30048625711-37.18704233614-2.67898577662.2664907609815.28021503235

Source publication: Business in Ireland 2017 

During the period 2009 to 2018 the production value of this sector increased from €11.5bn to €15.3bn , with increases seen in every year except for 2011 and 2013. Gross premiums earned and gross claims incurred have the greatest influence on the production value with 2018 values of €50.6bn and €37.2bn respectively.

Reinsurance ServicesOther Intermediate ConsumptionProduction ValueValue Added at Factor Cost
2009-1.622-6.64411.5393.273
2010-1.358-6.77211.9283.799
2011-1.501-6.90110.9362.533
2012-2.304332024-6.79848930912.486633283.38381194700001
2013-2.90925319322-6.608156985312.033796713852.51638653533
2014-3.09169587437-6.4071968829113.419020866723.92012810944
2015-3.54458376165-7.7201458344914.419746739433.15501714329
2016-3.235094554-7.8691202125314.488577510683.38436274415001
2017-2.8766179354-8.369202974714.820977821073.57515691097
2018-3.456365197-8.16900608115.280215032353.65484375435001

Value added is calculated as the residual after subtracting the gross value of reinsurance services received and other intermediate consumption from the production value.

The value added for Insurance Corporations ranged between €2.5bn and €3.9bn during the period with slight variations year-on-year.

Life InsuranceNon-life InsuranceReinsurance
20090.5051.1641.604
20101.0460.9941.759
20110.4161.2340.883
20120.9247963070000011.3253472731.133668367
20131.0062413830.9574383574300030.55270679504
20141.351741736410.9997376690700041.56864870468
20150.9567279470500021.063539886191.13474931005
20161.231942492131.009838072271.14258218757
20171.224141227381.144169370591.206846313
20181.124058754471.240422530941.290362469
Show Table: Table 7.3 Gross Value Added of Insurance Corporations (by type), 2009-2018

In 2018, all three types of insurance corporations contributed a similar amount of gross value added to the €3.7bn total. This is also the case between 2015 and 2017. During the earlier years, the share each insurance type contributed to the GVA experienced significant fluctuations from year to year.

Life InsuranceNon-life InsuranceReinsurance All Insurance Companies
200938833839765
201036834549762
201134636043749
2012266.918548401.95963241.757423710.635603
2013275.425102407.97976735.83277078719.23763978
2014246.417185492.64466338.23696028777.29880828
2015262.264367505.27325538.08553233805.62315433
201642443237893
2017500.838380271746414.94865239630438.0051152714557953.792147939505
2018500.838380271746414.94865239630438.0051152714557953.792147939505

The annual personnel costs for the entire insurance sector experienced little change between 2009 and 2015. Between 2015 and 2016 the costs increased by €87.4bn due to a sharp increase in the personnel costs of life insurance corporations. At the same time the personnel costs of non-life insurances declined, but by less than the increase in life insurance costs. The total personnel costs of the insurance corporations sector grew from €806m in 2015 to €954m in 2018. Personnel costs of reinsurance are not significant in relation to the total costs of the insurance corporations sector and stayed relatively constant throughout the observed period.

Life InsuranceNon-life InsuranceReinsuranceAll Insurance Companies
20090.1170.8261.5652.508
20100.6780.6491.713.037
20110.0710.8740.841.785
20120.6578777590000010.9233876409999991.0919109442.67317634400001
20130.7308162810000010.5494585904300030.516874024261.79714889555
20141.105324551410.5070930060700041.53041174443.14282930116
20150.6944635800500020.5582666311899991.096663777722.35301714329
20160.8079424921299980.5778380722699991.105582187572.49136274415001
20170.7233028471082570.7292207181936961.168841197728542.6213647630305
20180.6232203741982520.8254738785436961.252357353728542.7010516064105
Show Table: Table 7.4 Gross Operating Surplus of Insurance Corporations (by type), 2009-2018

Gross operating surplus is calculated as the value added at factor costs excluding personnel costs. 

The gross operating surplus of the insurance sector was highly volatile between 2009 and 2015 and slowly and constantly increased since. The strongest variations can be seen for re-insurance and life insurance.

During the period 2009 to 2018 the reinsurance sector had the highest share in gross operating surplus in the insurance corporations sector, with the exception of 2011 and 2013, when non-life insurance and life insurance comprised higher proportions of gross operating surplus, respectively.


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