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Austrian insurance sector sees moderate growth


VIENNA, Austria—The Austrian insurance sector experienced moderate growth and increased claims in 2006, according to an overview by Austria's insurance association.

Initial results for last year show premium income for the industry increased by 1.9%, to €15.5 billion, said Der Versicherungsverband Osterreich, based in Vienna, in a statement.

The relatively moderate growth was due to the decline of single premium payments in life insurance, the VVO said.

The results were "less dynamic than in the years before, although all sectors have recorded premium increases," the VVO noted.

Claims paid out increased by 10.4% , to €9.7 billion, largely because of winter losses in 2005/2006 and high payment transactions concerning expiring 10-year life insurance contracts.

The VVO's initial forecast for 2007 predicts an overall premium income increase of some 3.9%.