European leading insurer Allianz said on Thursday that China is expected to become the world's largest insurance market by 2028, the group's office in Paris said in a statement.
With 1.1 trillion euros (1.33 trillion U.S. dollars), representing over 30 percent of global premium income, the United States, currently is the world's largest insurance market, but it will lose its rank to China next decade, the group's report showed, predicting "a historic change of guard."
"Long-term forecasts are currently particularly difficult, the insurance markets are undergoing fundamental change," said Kathrin Brandmeir, economist at Allianz Research.
"However, from our point of view, this disruption also offers great opportunities. With new technologies, insurance cover can be made accessible and tangible for more people, and insurance products can become more attractive," she added.
For 2017, premium income in life insurance in industrialized countries shrank by 0.5 percent mainly due to weak development in Western Europe, which generates 30 percent of global premium income.
However, with 17.2 percent growth in premiums in life, emerging markets reported positive trend notably. China accounts for about 80 percent of the approximately 60 billion euros in additional premiums in life in those countries.
"The shift in weight towards the emerging markets will continue unabated in the coming years. At the end of the 2020s, around 40 percent of global premium income should be written in this country group. Ten years ago, this figure was still below 10 percent," the insurer said. (1 euro = 1.211 U.S. dollar)