Life Insurance Business Continues to Suffer from Low Interest Rates

The Austrian insurance market contracted in 2012, mainly due to a decline in life insurance simple premium payments. In private health and non-life insurance, however, the number of insured risks increased. In both areas, the influence of price increases during the year was stronger than the slightly positive volume effect. Persistently low interest rates pose a severe challenge to insurance companies' investment policy. In 2012, low write-offs allowed for an increase in the return on assets.