Filed Under:Markets, Personal Lines

Generating Growth in a Tough Economy

These are extraordinarily difficult times for insurers to grow their business, with the United States and Europe struggling to jump-start their economies and a double-dip recession still not out of the question.

But the economy is not the sole obstacle confronting carriers. There’s also the more fundamental need to change how the industry does business to meet rapidly evolving consumer expectations in terms of products, distribution, service and technology.

Another possibility is to expand into emerging markets. Indeed, with the U.S. and Western European economies failing to deliver consistent, large-scale growth, it’s only natural for insurers to consider potentially greener pastures in faster-growing countries, including giants such as China, India and Brazil, as well as smaller economies with upside potential such as Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey and Vietnam.

While there are often obstacles to overcome in foreign markets—including local regulatory hurdles, infrastructure and distribution challenges, tax considerations as well as cultural differences—the need for insurance coverage to meet the financial-security demands of an expanding middle class and private-sector business community could provide significant growth opportunities for those with the resources and capabilities to capitalize on them.

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