Emerging markets will see the highest growth in premiums for insurance companies this year and next, while Europe lags, according to the world’s biggest reinsurer, Munich Re.

In a study published on Thursday, Munich Re forecast growth in property/casualty insurance premiums of about 6 percent in Eastern Europe and Latin America in 2013-2014.

“In many parts of Asia, such as China and India, real growth rates could be as high as 10 percent or more,” it said.

Life insurance premiums are set to grow at double-digit percentage rates in many Asian and Latin American countries over the same period, the study added.

Economic recovery is driving the overall pick up in demand for insurance, Munich Re said, pointing out that life insurance globally was set to see a rebound after suffering an inflation-adjusted contraction in premiums over the last two years.

Europe is likely to see only moderate premium growth this year, especially in life insurance, in the wake of the sovereign debt crisis. Inflation-adjusted premiums in euro area peripheral countries may fall this year, with most European countries seeing a slow return to growth in 2014.

The reinsurer, whose business is to help insurance companies shoulder the burden of large damage claims in exchange for part of their premiums, also made market projections out to 2020.

It predicted the global property/casualty market would grow by 50 percent to 1.85 trillion euros ($2.4 trillion), compared with 2012.

The global life insurance market would grow by almost two-thirds to 3.1 trillion euros over the same period, it said.

The largest insurance markets in 2020 would remain the United States and Japan, with China moving to third place from around sixth place in 2010.