Generally speaking, the insurance market consists of two main segments: life insurance and non-life insurance. A life insurance contract means that a beneficiary will receive a payment in the event of the policyholder’s death or terminal illness, whereas non-life insurance covers the multitude of other areas of activity, including car insurance, property & casualty insurance and homeowner insurance.
Significant differences in the value of particular market segments can be observed. The gross written premiums of the European life-insurance companies in 2018 amounted to 764 billion euros, which signified an increase of 45.75 billion on the previous year. In the non-life segment of the market, premiums amounted to approximately 407 billion euros, which constituted just over half of the life premiums value. During 2018, almost 704 billion was paid out in life insurance benefits in Europe. The United Kingdom was the leading recipient country, recording the value of life benefits equal to 224.1 billion euros. In the non-life segment, the highest value of claims was paid out in Germany at 81 million euros in 2017.
Insurance companies that offered best-in-class customer experiences grew faster and profited more with their brand gaining positive recognition. Some of the most valuable European insurance brands in 2019 were domiciled in selected Western European countries, i.e. in Germany (Allianz) and in France (Axa). There are also many new companies that appear on the market. The ones which focus on the use of technology and innovation within the insurance industry are referred to as insurtechs. Between 2010 and 2020, there were 266 new insurtech companies founded in Europe. The United Kingdom, Germany and France alone made up 178 of these companies.