The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Insurance enterprises provide services, called insurance services, to policyholders. The values of such services are seldom, if ever, directly apparent; rather these values are implicitly entwined within the payment of premiums. This paper discusses the treatment of insurance services, and related transactions, in the balance of payments. A simple measure, based on a number of assumptions, of nonlife insurance services is considered. The assumptions underlying this measure are then relaxed. The treatment of life insurance, which has many of the characteristics of nonlife insurance, is then addressed. The paper concludes with a discussion on the practical aspects of measuring insurance transactions in the balance of payments.