AM Best is revising its market segment outlook on France’s life insurance market to negative. Key factors that have led to the change in outlook include the significant economic and financial headwinds driven by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which are expected to negatively impact premium levels and asset valuations, as well as sustained pressure on results and solvency ratios stemming from the continued low interest rate environment.
A new Best’s Market Segment Report, titled, "Market Segment Outlook: France Life," also cites sensitivity to interest rate movements due to the high proportion of long-duration, euro-denominated business, and the increased risk of corporate bond default due to deteriorating economic conditions, as negative trends.
The report notes these factors are partially offset by the French population’s historically high propensity to save, with traditional life savings products remaining the preferred investment vehicle, supported by associated tax advantages and a proactive response to the low interest rate environment. Insurers have lowered crediting rates and guarantees on traditional savings products, as well as increasing the proportion of capital-efficient, unit-linked products in their portfolios.
To access a complimentary copy of this market segment outlook, please visit http://www3.ambest.com/bestweek/purchase.asp?record_code=296007.
To view current Best’s Market Segment Outlooks, please visit http://www.ambest.com/ratings/RatingOutlook.asp.
AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specialising in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.
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