Property/casualty insurers on a mission to achieve strong growth over the next few years need to look beyond developed economies, a reinsurance broker advises in a new report.

In the 10th edition of the firm’s Insurance Risk Study titled, “Global Insurance Market Opportunities,” Aon Benfield ranks countries using a Country Opportunity Index to identify those with a desirable mix of profitability, growth potential and a relatively stable political environment.

Leading the pack are three countries in Southeast Asia—Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Other top quartile performers include Ecuador, Chile, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Australia, Brazil, and South Africa.

Geographic Opportunities Aon Benfield Sept 2015 smaller

Last year’s top country, Saudi Arabia, fell to fifth place on the ranking because of a five-point jump in its five-year combined ratio to 96.3. Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Ecuador all had five-year combined ratios below 90. Indonesia and Ecuador also experienced double-digit premium growth over the five years examined by Aon Benfield, as did Chile, Brazil and Saudi Arabia.

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The report notes that the United States, Japan, and most of Western Europe are in Quartiles 3 and 4 for the 50 countries included in the ranking, driving the conclusion that growth lies beyond the developed world.

Looking at growth alone, the study reveals that 13 countries achieved annual growth of more than 10 percent over the last five years.

Five in Quartile 1:




Saudi Arabia


Six in Quartile 2:







One in Quartile 3: Argentina

One in Quartile 4: Thailand

Over this period, Nigeria was shown to have the lowest combined ratio at 84.8 percent (and a 7.5 percent premium growth rate), while Romania had the highest combined ratio at 120.3 percent.

The report also analyzes geographic opportunities separately for motor, property and liability lines of business by arraying the countries in four quadrants—high growth/loss ratio outperformers; low growth/loss ratio outperformers; high growth/loss ratio underperformers; low growth/loss ratio outperformers.

As an example, the analysis reveals that China, South Africa and five other countries have the desirable high growth/loss ratio outperformer combination for the motor line. For property, Canada and China are among the countries in this quadrant, and for general liability, there are more than a dozen high growth/outperforming countries, including Australia and China and Brazil.

Overall, there are 20 countries are with a combination of high growth and loss ratio outperformance in at least one line of business, the report says. Among these 20 countries, five appear in each of the lines of business analyzed as high growth out performers: China, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Venezuela.

Source: Aon Benfield report, Global Insurance Market Opportunities