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BERNThe Bern Switzerland-based state insurance office, Bundesamt fur Privatversicherungen, has published figures for 2005 that show a stabilization in the recent marked decline in premiums written by Swiss insurers but a consolidation in the number of companies undertaking the business.
Total premium income written by life and property/casualty insurers in Switzerland fell slightly from 50.7 billion Swiss Francs ($40.5 billion) in 2004 to 50.6 billion Swiss Francs last year, a fall of only 0.19%.
Life business accounted for most of the decline with a fall of 1.5%, albeit a big improvement on the fall in premiums between 2003 and 2004 by 6.1%.
Property/casualty premiums were up by 1.8% after a fall of 5.3% between 2003 and 2004. Property/casualty losses fell by 1.6% to 26 billion Swiss francs signaling a decent year for the sector.
The total number of Swiss insurance companies fell from 216 in 2004 to 214 last year, although it remains well up on the 1996 figure of 91.
The 2005 figure included 78 Swiss p/c insurers, 40 foreign-based companies and 60 reinsurance companies. As of August 31 this year the total of Swiss reinsurance companies totaled 22 and the number of captive reinsurance companies was 47.