Chapter 4. Barriers to Integration in the Insurance Sector
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In the countries that make up the LA-7 (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay), insurance penetration (measured by premiums in percent of GDP) remains low, ranging from 1 to 4 percentage points of GDP, although the sector has expanded at a significant rate over the past decade. In 2014, assets totaled almost 10 percent of regional GDP, influenced in many cases by changes in the domestic regulatory frameworks. Broadening of formal sectors and larger nominal losses from natural disasters are likely to fuel the non-life segment, whereas purchases of life and retirement products have been growing the life portion of the insurance sector for some time now. The sector’s growth is partly stymied by the limited availability of long-term financial instruments denominated in the domestic currency, given that their demand is often crowded out by pension funds.