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Climbing steadily from its 2006 ranking of 23, the country's sector brought in 47bn euros (US$50.5bn) in gross written premiums last year, or 2.9% of GDP.
The US continued to hold the top spot with 1.13tn euros in premiums (6.7% of GDP), while Japan held on to its second place slot with 399bn euros (8.9% of GDP). China came in third, with 365bn euros in premiums, or 3.6% of GDP, up from eighth place 10 years prior.
Total global premium income reached a new record in 2016 at 3.6tn euros. In a year-on-year comparison, the nominal increase was 4.4% – after adjustments to reflect foreign currency effects. Although the growth rate has slightly decreased in the previous two years, when it was above the 5% mark, it is in line with the long-term average and the global economic growth rate, said the German insurance giant.
"Out of the 150bn euros or so in additional premiums, almost 70bn euros is attributable to one market alone: China," Allianz said in its study. "This means that the Middle Kingdom is responsible for close to half of last year's growth; without China, the insurance world would have achieved growth of only 2.7%."