The life insurance market in Italy is the third largest in Europe, after the United Kingdom and France. Life insurance gross written premiums in Italy reached approximately 100 billion euros, accounting for the majority of the premiums in the insurance sector. For comparison, the gross written premiums of the non-life segment amounted to approximately 32 billion euros.
Life insurance policies can be divided into two main categories, group and individual life insurance. The latter is by far the most common one, accounting for more than 90 percent of the total premiums in the Italian life insurance market. When considering the various distribution channels, most life insurance policies are taken out through bancassurance, which originate approximately 76 percent of the total life insurance sector.
As mentioned above, the nature of these contracts implies that insurance providers are to pay so-called benefits to the beneficiary (or beneficiaries) of the insurance policy in case of death of the insured person. In the last few years, despite fluctuating, the amount of benefits paid on the life insurance market in Italy increased overall, reaching a value of approximately 72 billion euros. This figure constitutes nearly ten percent of the total benefits paid on the life insurance market in Europe.
The life insurance market in Italy is dominated by Poste Vita, a company that registered a market share of 17.5 percent in terms of gross written premiums in 2017, followed by Intesa Sanpaolo Vita, and Assicurazioni Generali. However, the leading insurance group in Italy in terms of total gross premiums written is Assicurazioni Generali. Generali reported that the group’s premiums in both life and non-life segments reached a value of over 66 billion euros. This figure is more than four times as much as reported by Poste Vita, second in the ranking with nearly 16 billion euros worth of gross premiums written.