Claims paid by insurers underwent considerable growth in 2019

The amount of compensations paid by Finnish insurance companies grew in 2019. For example, non-life companies paid claims for €3.4 billion, which is 5% more than in 2018. Insurers’ investments were very successful, and last year’s economic growth had a positive effect on premium income.

Insurers’ aggregate premiums written in Finland increased 11% to a total of €26.1 billion. Premiums written, also referred to as premium income, means the total amount of insurance fees collected from policyholders. Claims and pension benefits were paid out for a total of €27 billion. This is a growth of 16% from the previous year.

“The main reason for the increase in compensations were the exceptionally large life insurance surrenders made last year. The claims incurred in non-life insurance increased because companies’ technical rates of interest were affected by low market rates. These factors together weakened the profitability of life and non-life insurance companies”, explains Finance Finland’s (FFI) Deputy Managing Director Esko Kivisaari.

However, in the investment market the year was very successful for insurance companies. Share prices went up during the year, yielding investment income which enabled companies to make up for the weaker results of their core investment business. Return on investments was 11%. The biggest returns came from equity holdings.

At the end of 2019, there were 47 licensed Finnish insurers in Finland, with 33 specialising in non-life business and reinsurance, 10 in life insurance, and 4 in statutory employee pension insurance. The annual average number of persons employed by insurance companies was 9,823. This was 136 persons more than the previous year.

Read more in the financial overview Finnish Insurance in 2019.