Life insurance did less well in 2023 than the previous two years, left behind by competing savings products with more attractive rates, like the Livret A, the France Assureurs federation announced on Friday. Contributions (sums paid on contracts) exceeded benefits (which include buyouts and payments in the event of death) by 2.4 billion euros between January and December 2023, says the professional federation. This is six times less than the 14.3 billion euros for 2022 and ten times less than the 23.7 billion euros for 2021.
This slack contrasts with the success of Livret A, which attracted more than 28 billion euros net over the whole of last year. The general director of France Assureurs, Franck Le Vallois, however, during a telephone press conference ruled out any arbitrage by savers to the disadvantage of life insurance. He prefers to see in this passable year the exceptional needs for new money of policyholders, to cope with inflation or finance the purchase of real estate, for example.
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Insurers also have several reasons to be reassured. The rates of return on euro funds, guaranteed in capital, are increasing significantly, even if they have not yet reached the 3% net of Livret A. The total outstanding amount of life insurance products has reached a record level at the end of December, at 1,923 billion euros, driven by the performance of units of account (UA), riskier but potentially more profitable investment vehicles. Savers are more and more interested in UC, encouraged by insurers who do more than cover the costs.
During the year 2023, net collection in units of account amounts to 30 billion euros. Euro funds, on the other hand, are in decline: they fell by 27.6 billion euros last year. The federation of insurers also highlights the success of retirement savings plans (PER), the bridgehead in France for capitalization retirement, with 1.12 million new policyholders last year. It also notes that contributions (153.3 billion euros) and benefits (150.8 billion euros) in life insurance are at unprecedented levels.