The weak economy in Europe remains a drag on insurance demand, and as a result, the total direct premium income growth. In light of the EU-28 GDP drop by 0.4% in 2012, a fall in the direct life premium income of 0.6% (at constant exchange rates) comes as logical consequence.
In tune with the gross written premiums, the number of life insurance contracts declined in 2012. The decline was significant enough to bring down the coverage by over two percentage points in 2012. The countries that experienced the harshest drop in the number of contracts are the UK, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and Slovenia (over 5% drop in the number of contracts in each of the countries). Germany suffered a 0.7% decline, too. On the upside, such Insurance Europe members like Switzerland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Latvia and Slovakia saw a rise in the number of contracts anywhere between 2 and 4% in 2012.