was $86,239 million. Particularly, $32,454 million came from casualty insurance premiums and $53,784 from life insurance premiums, which increased respectively by 8.0 percent and 18.4 percent over the previous year.
Life insurance premiums continued to experience rapid growth accounting for 61.5 percent of the total insurance premiums in 2002. The overall demand for insurance products also continued to increase and registered a 12.7 percent growth rate slightly greater than 9.4 percent of the previous year.
The importance of the insurance industry in Italy measured by the ratio premiums/GDP- has increased in every years since 1999, moving from 3 percent in 1999 to almost 4 percent in 2001, This ratio is over 10 percent for the UK and around 6 percent for France.
The insurance sector is continued to play a major role in Italy's financial markets due to the deficit of the national pension and health system and the increased importance of the newly created private pension funds.
Among the top ten Insurance companies operating in the sector,eight are large Italian insurance companies led by “Assicurazioni Generali”. Foreign-owned insurance companies maintain an estimated market share of 30 percent.
Countries whose firms have the strongest market presence are Germany (Ras, Lloyd Adriatico), Switzerland (Winterthur Assicurazioni) and France (Axa Assicurazioni).
Presently so many US Companies are doing business in Italy (including AIG Europe, Cigna Life Insurance, Chubb Insurance, Prumerica Life and Allstate).
U.S. companies are expected to take advantage of greater opportunities in Italy due to the liberalization of the EU insurance services market, as well as to the newly introduced Italian tax incentives for insurance covers involving individual supplemental allowance and long-term care plans.
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